Champions of Excellence: Explore & Develop Annandale Rated Excellent


Champions of Excellence: Explore & Develop Annandale Rated Excellent

In December 2023, Explore & Develop Annadale, a valued customer of ours for many years, achieved the highest possible rating under the National Quality Framework (NQF) – EXCELLENT!

To achieve the EXCELLENT rating, an early childhood education and care (ECEC) service must apply to ACECQA (the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority). Additionally, the service must already hold a rating of “Exceeding” in all seven quality areas outlined in the National Quality Standard (NQS). Find out more about the process and how ACECQA rates approved providers here

Explore & Develop Annandale stands out as a notable leader and champion of excellence within the Early Years sector. Their team doesn’t just aim high; they reach for the stars, consistently surpassing expectations having earned the prestigious Excellent rating from ACECQA. Their vibrant engagement and exciting projects in the local community have established them as an integral part of the community. With a culture built on celebrating strengths, they’re more than just a team. These exceptional educators are committed to delivering high-quality education, laying the foundations for lifelong learning and development. They provide this outstanding care & education in a unique environment that warmly welcomes all children, families, and educators, nurturing a sense of belonging for all.

Congratulations to you all at Explore & Develop Annadale for such outstanding achievements!

Su Garret the owner and operator of Explore & Develop Annandale kindly answered a few of our questions:

Q/ “Strong relationships are deeply embedded within Explore & Develop Annandale’s ethos and have been a cornerstone of your success. What Key suggestions could you offer to other services on building meaningful connections with children, families and the community?”

A/ Yes, our work revolves around developing strong relationships with our community. Flexibility and seeing each family as unique is the key to building these relationships. Involving families in all decisions is vital; these can be everyday decisions such as sleep routines through to bigger decisions around values and celebrations. Kinderloop allows us to capture and share both educator and family views in a simple way that everyone can access.

Q/ “Explore & Develop Annandale has been recognised for innovative projects. Can you share insights into the most influential project and its impact?”

A/ We engage in long-term projects with children and educators, these are often a dialogue of learning between the educators and the children. Most of our projects revolve around sustainability and caring for the land. The most impactful one continues today is our Boomerang Bag project, which began in 2018 when the children wanted to stop plastic shopping bags from being thrown in the neighbouring canal. The children surveyed the shops around us and discovered thousands of plastic bags were being
used daily. We started sewing boomerang bags to replace the plastic ones, and that year, the community made close to 400 bags. This embedded the practice of mending things and extended to cushion covers, tablecloths and other items for the school. Today the preschoolers still make bags for their library books, for their families and for visitors.

Q/ “Explore & Develop Annandale undeniably boasts a superstar team. Sustaining inspiration and motivation among educators is no small feat. How have you mastered this and nurtured such an exceptional team culture?”

A/ We are nothing without our amazing educators, we strive to find people’s niche and work with their strengths so educators can share their passions with the children. Often educators learn new skills with children through investigating a child’s question. Some educators love sewing with children, some have amazing creative art skills, music and gardening. We also work hard as a group to ensure our practice is aligned, be reflect together about how we would like to work together. We communicate regularly and openly about the Service and listen to educators regarding their view. This helps to ensure everyone feels connected to our school. Educators deserve a sense of belonging just as much as children and families.

Q/ “As leaders in the sector, how do you envision the future of early childhood education?”

A/ We hope that respect for the early years and early education will continue to grow. Our work is complex and vital to the future, some parts of government are starting to understand this, and we hope this continues. The main priority for early education is equal access for all children to quality education that includes quality educators. This means increased remuneration is vital and needs the involvement of the government as families can’t continue to pay increased fees. I hope recommendations from the recent ACCC report are taken on board and implemented by the government.

Q/ “Do you believe Kinderloop played a role in your recent rating?”

A/ Yes, using Kinderloop enables us to create strong documentation. It is flexible and allows us to work in a way that suits our fluid inquiry based curriculum. Then when it is time for Assessment and Rating all our evidence is there, easy to access. We have written many documentation books, the content of which all came from Kinderloop, it’s so simple to save photos and take chunks of data to use to create the books.
Using tags and the search function means you are able to find the work you need quickly and the large photos make it visually appealing.

Q/ “Many educators and service providers find the assessment and rating process daunting. What motivated Explore & Develop Annandale to apply for the Excellent rating and navigate through this process?”

A/ Yes the assessment and rating process is daunting, when you have so much to share with an assessor in a limited time it can be scary. We decided to apply for the Excellent Rating for two reasons. Firstly, it is in our DNA to excel and to share our pedagogy with our profession, what better way to do this than successfully applying for an Excellent rating? The second reason was to recognise the amazing team of educators who come to our place every day wanting to work collaboratively for both the children and families in our care and the wider community.

Q/ “Could you share your top 3 tips for preparing for Assessment & Rating?”

  1. Practice should be embedded and so A&R should be about telling your story.
  2. Ensure all educators are involved in everyday decisions and know why they do what they do.
  3. Prior to A&R support educators to be able to articulate their story to the assessor.

Q/ “What aspects of Kinderloop do you love the most?”

A/ We love everything about it, it’s flexibility, the fact that the whole team can see each others documentation and can learn from each other. The ability to customize it, like adding tags and of course it is family friendly so parents and grandparents will engage in our program.

Congratulations to the team for their hard work and dedication!

Happy Kinderlooping!

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