South Australian services among first rated Excellent by ACECQA

Three South Australian children’s education and care services are the first of four services in the country to ever be awarded the Excellent rating by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Authority (ACECQA).

The Excellent rating is the highest rating a service can achieve under the National Quality Framework (NQF) for Early Childhood Education and Care.

ACECQA Board Chair Rachel Hunter said the three South Australian services to receive the Excellent rating were Swallowcliffe Preschool, Wandana School Based Preschool and Allenby Gardens Child Parent Centre in South Australia.

A Queensland long day care centre, Karana Early Education Centre, has also received an Excellent rating.

“We are extremely pleased to be awarding the first ratings of Excellent to these services which have demonstrated outstanding commitment to improving quality outcomes for children in Australia,” Ms Hunter said.

“This is another important milestone for ACECQA’s NQF journey and is a great outcome for children.

“The awarding of the Excellent rating indicates that services are embracing continuous quality improvement.

“The Excellent rating recognises providers who are champions of quality improvement and are really raising the bar on what quality education and care looks like for Australian children.”

The South Australian children’s education and care services are all owned and operated by the Department for Education and Child Development (DECD).

Ms Hunter congratulated Swallowcliffe Preschool, Wandana School Based Preschool and Allenby Gardens Child Parent Centre on their outstanding achievements.

The services have been invited to attend the first National Quality Framework Conference in Sydney later this week, where they will share their stories with conference delegates..

About the services

Swallowcliffe Preschool 
Date awarded: 27/08/2013
Valid until: 26/08/2016

Swallowcliffe Preschool in Davoren Park, South Australia demonstrated excellence in the areas of:

  • collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations
  • inclusive partnerships with children and families
  • positive workplace culture and organisational values.

Swallowcliffe Preschool operates within a primary school which is rated at a category one of disadvantage by the DECD.

This is the highest rating of disadvantage and vulnerability, and means that children and families using the service experience high levels of disadvantage due to poverty and a transient population.
The service was recognised for showing genuine understanding of how improving outcomes for children, particularly those experiencing disadvantage, is intrinsically linked to the strength of the family and community supports around each child.

Swallowcliffe Preschool takes its practice beyond the classroom and is solidly established as a community hub for families, strengthening community connections, creating networks that simplify referral mechanisms and contributing to the improvement of the local area.

Wandana School Based Preschool

Date awarded: 28/08/2013
Valid until: 27/08/2016
Wandana School Based Preschool is based in Gilles Plains in South Australia.

Wandana demonstrated excellence in the following themes:

  • inclusive partnerships with children and families
  • commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin
  • collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations. 

One of the most outstanding aspects of Wandana is the exceptional way in which the service blends, and draws strength from, a richly diverse community of children and families.

Wandana educates and cares for children across a broad spectrum of ability levels, socio-economic backgrounds and cultures and successfully celebrates this diversity by actively encouraging families and the broader community to participate in the centre’s operations through a variety of valuable initiatives.

Wandana is particularly successful at cultivating and celebrating its culturally and linguistically diverse families. Wandana also takes commendable steps to act as advocates and intermediaries to support families with children who have additional needs, maintaining strong links with support agencies.

Allenby Gardens Child Parent Centre

Date awarded: 28/08/2013
Valid until:  27/08/2016
Allenby Gardens demonstrated excellence against the following themes:
  • inclusive partnerships with children and families
  • practice and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth
  • sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.

Over the past 18 months, Allenby Gardens has undergone an extraordinary transformation with a greater focus on improving early childhood outcomes at the service. Driven largely by the school principal, there has been intense work to improve the focus on early childhood. Allenby Gardens also worked closely with the community in this transformation, which has allowed the community to become engaged and active with the service.

Allenby has also demonstrated leadership within the sector, hosting 50 teachers from the local area for presentations on transition to school and the implementation of Same First Day in 2014. Allenby participated in the Regional Leaders network and is involved in the DECD NQF School Based Preschools Reference Group. They presented workshops about the NQF and developing models of best practice at the Aboriginal Lands District Conference in Alice Springs to teachers from remote locations.

About the Excellent rating

It is the highest rating that can be given to children’s education and care services. It can only be awarded by ACECQA and is not a rating given during the assessment and rating process.

Providers with a service that have received an overall rating of ‘Exceeding the National Quality Standard’ can apply for the Excellent rating.

More information is available on the ACECQA website: /educators-and-providers1/excellent-rating.


ACECQA is an independent statutory authority established to provide national leadership in promoting quality and continuous improvement in children’s education and care in Australia.

ACECQA’s role is to guide the implementation of the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care nationally, ensuring consistency in delivery.

Media contact: 0477 301 274

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