Director at St Nicholas Newcastle West shares her Exceeding insights
St Nicholas Early Education Newcastle West was awarded an ‘Exceeding’ rating by the Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) in 2018.
In this piece, Director Alexandra shares some insights about the measures which saw the service awarded the Exceeding rating in Quality Areas One, Two, Four, and Five.
Achieving the rating, she said “was no accident” with the whole team showing an “unrelenting” commitment to providing the highest quality of care.
“We often get asked by families and community members about what makes St Nick’s Newcastle West an Exceeding centre,” Alexandra explained.
Beginning with Quality Area One, the service uses a planned and reflective approach that takes into consideration the individual’s strengths, likes, and interests of each child, using these to extend their learning wherever possible.
In Quality Area Two, the service considers wellbeing to not only be providing physical safety, but also psychological wellbeing, and giving extensive support to children to help them grow in competence, confidence, and independence. Children’s health and physical activity is supported and promoted, while still allowing them to “freely explore and discover their surroundings,” Alexandra said.
The service is staffed above ratio to ensure that children are safe, have engaging environments, and have opportunities to engage in learning. This, Alexandra believes, is a large part of what contributed to the service being rated as Exceeding in Quality Areas Four and Five.
“Our focus here is to develop relationships with children that are responsive, respectful and promote children’s belonging and sense of self,” she continued. “Relationships of this kind free children to explore the environment and engage in play and learning.”
While the service was pleased to be recognised with an Exceeding rating, Alexandra has her eye on the future, noting that the team “are always looking for ways that we can improve to ensure we are always providing the highest quality of care for our children.”
For more information about the Exceeding themes, please see here.