Milford Lodge Child Care Centre has been re-awarded the Excellent rating
Date first awarded: 2 June 2016
Date re-awarded for the second time: 30 May 2019
Date re-awarded for third time: 15 June 2022
Valid until: 14 June 2025
Milford Lodge Child Care Centre (MLCCC) has been re-awarded the Excellent rating for the third time by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), the highest rating a service can achieve under the National Quality Framework.
The Sunshine Coast based service was recognised for its ongoing:
- collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations,
- inclusive partnerships with children and families,
- positive workplace culture and organisational values, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators,
- practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth.
These examples of exceptional practice build on the service’s continuous improvement plans and include:
- Supporting children’s interest in first aid through providing theoretical and practical experiences. This included:
- Children referred to the first aid manual and practiced treating snake bites through the roles of patients and first responders after identifying the risk of bites during their Forrest Dwellers program. Children also role played how to call for an ambulance and to give the correct location.
- The service held basic first aid training for children. A child injured themselves a few days later at a local skate park and was able to instruct a family member on how to ‘stem the bleeding’.
- The service continues and has expanded its intergenerational program to:
- Supporting an in-home care client to plan and facilitate art and craft experiences for fellow clients and the children. The client is a retired preschool teacher and directly contacts the service to check for and request specific materials, in addition to reviewing the previous experience, with MLCCC staff.
- A student traineeship program where students attend the service one day a week while completing their higher education studies. MLCCC acknowledges how invaluable its school-based trainees and vocational placement students were during COVID-19
in supporting the service team. The service references its students being able to continue their studies, experience feeling needed as a team member, and becoming job ready more quickly. The students all facilitated weekly skills sessions which highlighted their skills and knowledge around rugby, basketball and skating. This provided opportunities for planning, programming and leadership experience.
- The service introduced a woodworking program, using off cuts of wood from family members and staff. The program includes children accessing:
- Hand drills to create their own threading boards.
- A screw and bolt station to support selection and use of the correct tool (i.e., screwdrivers) and tools to build skills around manipulation, concentration and perseverance.
- The use of small hand tools and flint stones to light fires (winter only) when out on Country during its Forest Dwellers program.
As a leader in the sector, MLCCC proactively shares its practices with and provides guidance to local and regional services, TAFE students, teachers and assessors, and educational consultants through:
- Service and bus tours organised by the service and through educational consultants. This extends to the in-nature program, and professional conversations with educators regarding mixed age grouping, specific service environments and its various community outreach programs.
- Organisation of local and international speakers to support the professional development of neighbouring services and school staff, and local and interstate educators through its ‘Village Ways’ and ‘Yarnin Up’ conferences.
- Support for TAFE QLD through guest speaking to Certificate III and Diploma in Early Education and Care students, presenting to TAFE teaching staff on children’s access to and, programs based within natural environments, and providing feedback to the Professional Learning Committee (PLC) to enhance student learning and assessment.
About the Excellent rating
Services that receive ‘Exceeding National Quality Standard’ in all seven quality areas can apply to ACECQA for the Excellent rating. The Excellent rating is awarded for three years. After this time services have the option to re-apply.