Winston Glades Early Education Centre named as Excellent
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Winston Glades Early Education Centre & Preschool joins 2024 Excellent list

by Freya Lucas

June 24, 2024

Winston Glades Early Education Centre & Preschool was awarded the Excellent rating in late May, the highest rating a service can achieve under the National Quality Framework.  


The 117 place long day care service is based in Queensland, and was recognised for its collaborative partnerships with professional, community or research organisations, the positive workplace culture, and for practices and environments that enhance children’s learning and growth. 


Connection to nature


In issuing the Excellent rating, assessors noted the service’s outstanding commitment to bush kindy and nature pedagogy underpinned by strong philosophical considerations and direct response to its context. 


The service demonstrated this commitment by investing extensive time and funds training staff to understand the complexities and benefits of nature play and bush survival skills to share with children and families. 


Winston Glades Early Education Centre & Preschool offers a service wide bush kindy program which sees preschoolers spending two full days per week in bush kindy settings, with infants spending a minimum of two hours each fortnight. 


During the bush kindy sessions there are minimal resources available, with educators instead using dadirri, a First Nations methodology of deep listening in nature. 


The service further demonstrated its commitment to nature pedagogy by developing a free community bush kindy initiative, which is a weekly one-hour session led by an educator, offering nature play for children and families in the community. 


Outdoor spaces 


Winston Glades Early Education Centre & Preschool formed a mutually beneficial partnership with a playground designer and outdoor educator to design a new outdoor play space for the service in response to Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) data on children’s vulnerability.


The service also partnered with a local Elder, children and families in the development of the playground. The consultation process for the design of the playground involved exploration of children’s physical activity levels by monitoring children’s step count before and after using the new play space. 


Data collected by the service team revealed that children’s step count increased by 39 per cent, with one child experiencing an 115 per cent increase. The service is also currently working with the playground designer to collect data to develop an ecology of play framework, which will be sent to a local university to analyse, with the intent of publishing the research once analysis is completed.  


Holistic wellness for staff


In 2019, the service built an outdoor deck for educators to relax and collaborate. The deck was built in response to educator feedback in supporting them to relax and connect with others, with many educators stating that being in nature was calming for them and helped support professional collaboration within their team.  


Winston Glades Early Education Centre & Preschool also developed two additional indoor spaces with amenities such as a massage chair and aromatherapy for the staff. The service staff provided extensive feedback on how these changes made them feel valued, aided in their relaxation and supported deeper professional engagement in these calming spaces. 


Professionals at the service are guided to support and connect with others in the broader early childhood education and care (ECEC) community by providing mentoring support for educators at other services. The service dedicates one to two full days per fortnight, acting as a field advisor and providing on-site support. 


This practice demonstrates the service’s commitment to genuine practice sharing with the intent of improving educator practice, pedagogy, and professional learning in the wider education and care sector, ACECQA noted. 


To learn more about Winston Glades Early Education Centre & Preschool please see here

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