Genuine, reciprocal relationships with families, a close connection with the local schools, community involvement, and an outstanding program for children are key attributes of the 91-place early learning centre, according to centre director Miranda Tait.
“Our team is exceptionally proud of this achievement and particularly grateful to our families and those in the community who voted for us. It’s incredibly humbling,” Ms Tait said.
“We pride ourselves on the strong, nurturing bonds our professional educators form with children and on our close relationships with families. It’s the day-to-day connections that make a difference.”
While Miranda is relatively new in the centre director role – she was promoted into the director role two months ago – she has been with Goodstart Forest Gardens since March 2013 where she was the educational leader and also an assistant director.
“I’ve been so fortunate to have already established relationships within our centre and within the community. Since starting in my new role, we have been able to implement a number of positive changes to drive family satisfaction and continually improve the quality of our service for the benefit of all children,” she said.
“Goodstart offers a unique curriculum for children with enriching learning experiences designed to maximise every child’s learning, development and wellbeing so they are ready to start school.”
The centre runs its own music program with a qualified music teacher, has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment, and holds regular excursions including visits to the local school where children can attend the prep transition program. Goodstart also supports the Paint Cairns South Read Literacy Program and is actively involved in a number of community events.
Harmony Day cultural celebrations, a Crazy Hair Day as a fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation, and a sausage sizzle at the Community Easter Egg Hunt to raise money for a local charity are all upcoming events Goodstart Forest Gardens has on their calendar.
“Goodstart’s vision is for all children to have the best possible start in life, and we at Goodstart Forest Gardens are lucky enough to have a group of passionate and dedicated educators who advocate for this belief in their everyday practices,” Ms Tait said.
Goodstart Forest Gardens is a large centre with seven rooms spread across two buildings, catering for children from infancy through to five years of age, all with engaging and warm learning environments that foster creativity and learning.
One building has two nurseries and two toddler rooms, the other is a decided space for senior toddler, pre-kindergarten children and also where they run the Queensland Government approved kindergarten program with a Bachelor qualified early childhood teacher.