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I am thrilled to begin this newsletter with some fabulous news … our St Anne’s ELC has again been rated as ‘Exceeding National Quality Standards’ under the National Quality Framework. The ELC was a part of the three-yearly assessment and rating process at the beginning of this term, which was a three-part process including a 'desktop' review of our philosophy, quality improvement plan and policies and procedures, followed by an online leadership interview. The final part of the rating review was an in-person visit by an assessor from Melbourne who spent several hours in the centre inspecting facilities, educational programs, and child records and closely observing our educators teaching and caring for the children.

The National Quality Standard (NQS) sets a national benchmark for children's education and care services across Australia. Services are assessed against the NQS by the state or territory regulatory authority and receive a rating for each of the seven quality areas of the NQS and an 'overall' rating. These quality areas include:

  • educational program and practice
  • children's health and safety
  • physical environment
  • staffing
  • relationships with children
  • collaborative partnerships with families and children
  • governance and leadership

The assessor commented several times on our team's lovely environment and professionalism. Some of the comments from the written report included:

'All educators consistently engaged in high-quality practice and demonstrated skill in recognising opportunities to facilitate and extend the learning of children', as well as ‘A rich, inviting and aesthetically pleasing learning environment.'

Well done to the staff team for an outstanding result and the many extra hours put in to showcase the ELC during this assessment period. Though the process can be a little intimidating, and the benchmarks are constantly changing, we see this as an ongoing opportunity for improvement as a team. We are particularly delighted that both services have an exceeding rating in the key areas of educational program and practice and relationships with children. Our children are in good hands.

Recently the ELC teaching teams from both our campuses visited Trinity Grammar’s ELC in Kew. As a part of our commitment to best practice, we embrace the opportunity to visit other 'like' schools to share ideas and view their learning environments. We were particularly curious to see how they incorporate indigenous perspectives into their educational program. This is important to the ELCs as we begin creating our first Reconciliation Action Plan. The Trinity team welcomed us, and the discussions were lively and beneficial, with many ideas exchanged both ways.

For those of you who like to plan ahead, the dates for the children's official ELC photos in Term 3 are as follows:
- Bairnsdale Reception Group: Tuesday August 15
- Bairnsdale Transition Group: Wednesday August 16
- Sale Reception Yellow Cygnets/ Transition Black Swans: Wednesday September 6
- Sale Reception Green Cygnets/ Transition White Swans: Thursday September 7

We can see there are still many families who are not looking at VOS to keep up to date with ELC news. Please try to do so for more dates of special events, excursions and details of the children's program. Just a reminder that if you have not contributed to our food collection for Anglicare, please do so by the end of the first week of Term 3 so we can hand the goods on. Many families would appreciate your kind donations of packaged food items.

It has been a lovely busy, and successful term. I hope that you all enjoy a relaxing Winter break. Term 3 begins on Tuesday 18 July.

Lisa Burgess

ELC Director