REPORT CARD: See how local childcare centres stack up
WITH quality education at the heart of early learning, two local childcare centres exceeding the National Quality Standard are looking to further develop their services.
Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority has 49 centres listed within the 4670 postcode, the majority of which are meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard (NQS).
Acorn Child Care Centre and St Luke's Early Learning Centre were among the 22 centres 'exceeding' the NQS.
A further 22 local centres were rated as 'meeting NQS', two were 'working towards NQS' and three were 'not yet assessed'.
Amid a year of immense change, Acorn is looking to develop their services, while St Luke's is nearing the completion of two additional learning areas which will be ready in January.
Acorn Child Care Centre's nominated supervisor and centre director Jessie Munzenberger said they were happy with their 'exceeding' rating.
"With the year that has been 2020, we have taken a more encouraging approach to developing our services and what we deliver to our children and families, rather than focusing on our title of exceeding," she said.
"We have been truly reflecting on our service culture, our standards and how important our role as "essential workers" has been to our families, children, and the community of Bundaberg.
"If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that strong attachments and positive partnerships are key to what we do here at Acorn Child Care Centres."
She said with less physical contact than ever in the industry, they've taken the last few months to focus on various aspects within their business to improve their practices.
"The methods and approaches we have used to improve our Acorn's practices and provisions include: embedding new approaches into our service operations and developing a leadership team, to support our educators," she said.
"More informed critical reflection through team meetings, our story park app, conversations, and further documentation.
"Keeping meaningful engagement with our amazing families and supporting them and our community through what has been one of the most difficult years.
"But most of all, supporting our children to feel safe, secure, and nurtured through what has been a year of significant change for them."
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Over at the St Luke's Early Learning Centre, St Luke's Anglican School business manager David Reed they achieved the exceeding rating in six out of seven quality areas: educational program and practice, health and safety, relationships with children and governance and leadership.
He said with the end of 2020 nearing, they were focusing on preparing pre-preparatory children for their entry into preparatory schooling and the construction of two new learning areas.
"For the first time, St Luke's will be able to care for children aged from two years in our new Junior room," he said.
"The staff have excitedly been contributing to the designs of these new rooms and new outdoor play areas, and we can't wait to see the excited looks on the faces of the children when they open in January."
Mr Reed said the two new areas would enable the centre to meet the demand for additional children aged 2-5 years.
"Learning in early years sets a solid foundation for all future development," he said.
"The learning environment at St Luke's Early Learning Centre helps the children develop their social, emotional and cognitive skills.
"In addition, the staff help create a positive environment to nurture, love and care for the children to support their overall well being.
"The curriculum and experiences all plant seeds on a daily basis to help the children create a lifelong love of learning."
HOW LOCAL CENTRES RATED OVERALL:
• Acorn Child Care Centre (Branyan St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: November 2017
•Acorn East (Bargara Rd) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: February 2015
• Bundaberg Community Kindergarten (Electra St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: January 2014
• C & K Forestview Community Kindergarten Association Inc (Totten St) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: July 2017
• Chrysalis Central Kindergarten (Fitzgerald St) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: April 2017 (Last Service Approval Transfer Date: 11 June 2018)
• Chrysalis Early Learning Centre (Ashfield Rd) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: May 2014
• C&K Bundaberg South Community Kindergarten (Flint St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: September 2016
• C&K Oaks Beach Community Kindergarten (Sea Esplanade & Zunker St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: November 2013
• C&K Walkervale Community Kindergarten (Cullen St) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: October 2017
• Cuddle Bugs Kindergarten & Pre-Prep (Boundary St) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: June 2014
• Eastside Little Learners Childcare & Development OSHC Centre (35a Olsen St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: February 2017
• Eastside Little Learners Childcare & Developmental Centre (37 Olsen St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: March 2014
• Expeditions Early Learning Journey (Avoca Rd) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: April 2014
• Goodstart Early Learning Bundaberg - George Street (203 George St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: July 2016
• Goodstart Early Learning Bundaberg - Takalvan Street 1 (38 Takalvan St) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: April 2020.
• Kids & Co Moore Park Beach (1 Murdochs Rd) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: April 2019
• Paisley Park Early Learning Centre Bundaberg (56 Searle St) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: September 2017 (Last Service Approval Transfer Date: 20 January 2017)
• Piper Central World Of Learning (Ruddell St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: August 2014
• South Kolan Community Kindergarten (Bunyarra Dr) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: November 2017.
• St Luke's Early Learning Centre (4 Mezger St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: April 2015
• St Mary's Bundaberg Outside School Hours Care Service (Frank Gilbert Dr) Exceeding NQS -Rating Issued: June 2018
• St Patrick's After School Care (35 Mulgrave St) Exceeding NQS - Rating Issued: April 2014
• Avoca Outside School Hours Care (Branyan Dr, Twyford St) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: November 2019
• Bundaberg Early Learning Centre (Dittman Rd, Branyan Dr) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: April 2019
• Bundaberg Scallywags Child Care Centre (Elliott Heads Rd) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: August 2015
• Carinbundi Kids Family Day Care (Gavin St) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: September 2019
• C&K Walker Street Community Child Care Centre (Walker St) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: June 2019
• Coral Coast Child Care Centre (Kathleen Dr) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: May 2019
• Cradle to Crayons Education & Care (Queen St) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: June 2015
• Edenbrook Early Learning Centre (25A Fitzgerald St) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: November 2018
• Frogtastic Educational Kindergarten and Childcare (Branyan Dr) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: May 2015
• Gooburrum Outside School Hours Care (Gooburrum State School, 14 Gooburrum Rd) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: December 2013.
• Helping Hands Bargara (Bargara Rd) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: March 2016 (Last Service Approval Transfer Date15 July 2019)
• Helping Hands Kalkie (Kalkie State School Bargara Road) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: July 2020 (Last Service Approval Transfer Date: 26 August 2019)
• Helping Hands Norville (Dr Mays Rd) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: January 2016 (Last Service Approval Transfer Date: 6 March 2015)
• Lead Childcare - Bargara (115 Hughes Rd) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: August 2017
• Lead Childcare - Bundaberg (146 Elliott Heads Rd) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: April 2015
• Learn and Play Kindergarten (14A Tarakan Street Cnr Tobruk St) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: May 2014
• North Bundaberg After School Care (Bundaberg North State Primary School 4 Mt Perry Rd) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: May 2016
• PCYC Bundaberg School Age Care (Civic Ave) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: August 2018
• Southern Cross Family Day Care (Shop 12b 9 Maryborough St) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: June 2016.
• St John's Lutheran Outside School Hours Care (24 George St) Meeting NQS - Rating Issued: May 2015
• St John's Lutheran Community Kindergarten Bundaberg (1 Elizabeth St) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: March 2015 (Last Service Approval Transfer Date: April 2013)
• St Joseph's Outside School Hours Care (Barolin & Woondooma Sts) Meeting NQS -Rating Issued: June 2016
WORKING TOWARDS NQS
• Bonney Tots Bundaberg 1 (Fairymead Rd) Working Towards NQS - Rating Issued: October 2019
• Oakwood School Age Care Programme (125 Oakwood School Rd) Working Towards NQS -Rating Issued: April 2018
NOT YET ASSESSED
• Grow Early Education Bundaberg North (1 Barber St) Overall rating: Provisional - Not Yet Assessed
• St Joseph's Catholic Kindergarten, Bundaberg (Woondooma St) Provisional - Not Yet Assessed
• YMCA Childcare and Kindergarten (Quinn St) Provisional - Not Yet Assessed
A Department of Education spokesperson said the NQS was made up of seven quality areas, fifteen standards and forty elements against which ECEC services are assessed and rated.
"Services are given a rating for each of the seven quality areas and an overall rating," the spokesperson said.
"A 'working towards' rating means an ECEC service is providing a safe education and care program, but there are one or more areas identified for improvement.
"Services can continually work towards improving their quality rating by self-assessing their performance and planning future improvements using the Quality Improvement Plan.
"Queensland continues to demonstrate the highest rate of services meeting or exceeding the NQS of any jurisdiction in Australia, with 87 per cent of Queensland services meeting or exceeding compared to a national average of 81 per cent."