Nazareth Early Childhood Centre has been awarded the Excellent rating

Date awarded: 7 December 2020

Valid until: 6 December 2023

Nazareth Early Childhood Centre has been awarded the Excellent rating by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA), the highest rating a service can achieve under the National Quality Framework.

The Adelaide based service was recognised for its:   

  • collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations,
  • 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.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • The service has supported continuity of practices, staff development and recognition and respect for early years experiences and educators through its partnership with Nazareth Catholic College. This includes:
    • Working with the college to revise the transition to school program. This led to the program title changing from ‘Ready to Thrive’ to ‘Loving, Learning, Thriving’. This reflects the foundational learning experiences that they believe support children to thrive within the early years and that will continue to be built on during each child’s transition to and journey through primary school.
    • A staff member was supported to take a year of leave to fulfil their ambition of working within the early years within a primary school context. This included placement within a college reception class as an education support worker. The service references the practice with strengthening the transitioning to and settling into school process for previous service children and families, including three children with additional needs/rights who had attended the service for many years.
    • Bilingual educators from the service are released and paid to attend college campus learning conversations. Staff provide translation services for college families to support two-way conversations regarding student learning and participation. The service states the practice acknowledges the diverse skills and flexibility of its team members while responding to wider college community needs.
  • Collaborating with the local council to develop a concept plan for a playground adjacent to the service. This led to the ‘Playing Around With Playground Ideas’ project which the service developed and provided to council. It outlined the children’s recommendations for the inclusion of:
    • a spiral slippery dip and the addition of rocks within a nature area
    • senior and junior swings and a basket swing to support use by different age groups and capabilities
    • exploring the opportunities for the inclusion of children’s artwork on border fencing.
  • Using its representation on the College Community Engagement and Wellbeing Strategic Implementation Team, introduced a review to promote inclusive practices and help improve consistency for children and families between the service and school. This was further supported by increasing the profile of service staff and educators across the college, which resulted in: 
    • College staff meetings being live streamed and recorded to support access for and input from the service staff team.
    • Changes to service operational hours to support service staff to attend college events.

As a leader in the sector, Nazareth Early Childhood Centre develops and inspires the practice of local education and care services and its college and local school representatives through:

  • Undertaking a STEM research project with year one College students and teachers facilitated in partnership with Flinders University, with the play and inquiry based learning findings being presented at the 2019 Catholic Education South Australia (CESA) STEM forum.
  • Sharing documentation and pedagogical practice within the service and externally through participating in the Early Childhood Organisation (EChO) South Australia ‘On the road: Documentation in Context – Evidence of Children’s thinking’ and the EChO expo ‘Making Our Own Road – Between SA and Reggio Emilia’.
  • Supporting early childhood lecturers, course facilitators and students from the University of South Australia and Flinders University through providing documentation examples, guidance and opportunities to observe the application of a service philosophy within a birth to two year old environment.

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.