East Perth exceeding thanks to a commitment to quality
Goodstart has an unrelenting commitment to quality which has raised standards nationwide as well as lifting the organisation well above the sector in all seven national quality areas
Of the centres assessed in the last year more than 92% have been assessed as meeting the national quality standard and 43% assessed as exceeding.
This is an outstanding result and just reward for the organisation’s investment in capability and the commitment shown by dedicated people throughout the network.
Goodstart East Perth
is one of many centres which has embarked on a focused quality journey, resulting in the centre achieving their exceeding rating just two years after their previous working towards assessment.
Their journey started in 2012 with the appointment of Lela Mrdak as centre director, and accelerated in 2014 when Kirsty Brown was recruited as kindergarten teacher and educational leader.
“My vision for the centre was to achieve an exceeding rating but I needed the right people in the right places first. Recruiting Kirsty was an important step,” said Lela.
“We were the centre’s leadership team and right from the beginning we worked closely together and were very goal oriented.”
Lela has since moved into an area manager role, however her vision for the centre is still being pursued by Kirsty and centre director Sarah O'Connor.
As Kirsty explains, accessing Goodstart’s array of resources and training played a crucial role in delivering on their shared vision.
“The three main areas we needed to focus on were our environment, curriculum and accountability.
“The professional capability program and resources on the intranet meant we were able find support and guidance for practically all the gaps we’d identified in our service.
“Between training Lela and I attended ourselves and other resources we accessed directly, we were able to develop our educators in the planning cycle, following the child’s lead, naming the child’s emotion, praising for effort and assistance, and the circle of security.”
By engaging room leaders and developing a vision for what a quality environment should look like, the centre was transformed into spaces intentionally set up to support learning. This was complemented by installing a curriculum display board in each room which helped parents understand the planned approach to learning.
Equally important was the investment in elevating educators’ understanding of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), and improving accountability around documentation.
“We spent a lot of time helping our educators understand the EYLF, what it looked like in practice and the types of experiences and activities they should be creating."
Despite having come so far already, Kirsty is confident the quality journey for East Perth has a long way to go.
“Lela and I developed one, three and five year plans for the centre.
“Our one year plan was to be rated exceeding, our three year plan is to become a centre of excellence, and our five year plan is to become a training centre for Goodstart.”