Yuille Park Children's Centre has been awarded the Excellent rating

Date awarded: 17 June 2021

Valid until: 16 June 2024

Yuille Park Children’s Centre (YPCC) 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 Ballarat, Victorian based service was recognised for its:

  • collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations,
  • commitment to children that respects, reflects and celebrates culture and diversity, including place of origin,
  • positive workplace culture and organisational values, sustained commitment to professional development and support of educators.

Examples of exceptional practice at the service include:

  • Beginning in 2016, the service introduced the Meals Program and the ‘Take what you need - Give what you can’ initiative to reduce barriers of participation and increase families’ and children’s health and wellbeing. The service provides opportunities for children to have breakfast through the Breakfast Club and supplement their lunchboxes with daily planned cooking experiences through the healthy Meals Program. Families are encouraged and supported to access items of clothing, shoes, clothing accessories, packaged food, books and toys when needed through the ‘Take what you need - Give what you can’ program. The items are regularly donated by local businesses, the school’s Food Bank initiative, service and school families and educators and teachers. 
  • The service has employed an additional part-time educator as part of their School Readiness Funding Plan to provide support to children who have experienced trauma or have additional needs. This supports the children and educators by increasing the educator to child ratio, allowing for more targeted approaches in supporting children’s communication skills, self-help skills and emotional and social wellbeing.
  • The service partners with Yuille Park P-8 Community College (the school) to improve children’s health and wellbeing outcomes, provide support to families and remove barriers to participation. The partnership includes:
    • Working with the school’s Wellbeing and Engagement Officer to identify and remove barriers to participation for both service and school children.
    • Partnering with the school’s specialist teachers to enhance their transition to school program, which includes weekly planned sessions with the school specialists in the school’s gym, music room and kitchen garden. This supports the service’s children transitioning to school as they are familiar with the environment and behaviour and learning expectations.
    • Working collaboratively with the school speech therapist to identify and implement targeted early intervention strategies for YPCC children. The families are able to access regular therapy sessions at the service, reducing transportation-related barriers.
    • Supporting the school staff to establish and provide the Breakfast Club program at the school. This program extends on the service’s Meals Program, ensuring transitioning children continue to have access to breakfast once they begin school.
    • Publishing a joint YPCC and school Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) on the Narragunnawali platform in 2020. YPCC acknowledges the success of embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures into their practice, creating a culturally safe environment, building strong relationships with their families and community and meeting children’s needs has resulted in the increased enrolment of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
  • The service established and leads an online Reconciliation Action Plan Group, which aims to support services across Victoria to develop their own RAPs.
  • In partnership with the City of Ballarat Council through its Wendouree Early Years Network and Wendouree Improvement Team the service promotes initiatives to improve outcomes for children and families in the community. Working in collaboration with services such as Maternal and Child Health, The Ballarat and Districts Aboriginal Cooperative, the Salvation Army and local education and care services, YPCC acknowledges the need for holistic approaches to supporting families’ and children’s health and wellbeing. Key initiatives include:
    • assisting to establish a much needed supported playgroup for the local Wendouree West area by providing space, resources and educator expertise
    • supporting a group of mothers to establish their own playgroup after their time with the City of Ballarat Supported Playgroup had finished. YPCC currently hosts two playgroups and shares the outdoor environment and resources of the service with the playgroup children and families
    • working collaboratively with the Maternal and Child Health team to identify and remove barriers faced by many families in accessing health services for their children.

As a leader in the sector, Yuille Park Children’s Centre is committed to improving outcomes of children and families and proactively partners with key services and professionals from the education, health and social services in their community. Yuille Park Children’s Centre shares its practice and learnings with the school staff and other education and care services, helping to ensure their positive impact reaches beyond the children and families who access their service.

About the Excellent rating

Services that receive ratings of ‘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.