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Employee-owned Childbase visits Goodstart

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Sharing ideas and seeing first-hand how Goodstart Early Learning operates on a large scale were the aims of a research tour to Australia by four employees from Childbase Partnership UK.

The four, Rebecca Gallaway, Hannah Cutler, Angela Brown and Aprille Goubert, all applied to attend the study tour and were selected based on their interviews and statements of what they hoped to achieve by visiting Australia.

Childbase Partnership is an early learning group with 42 centres throughout the UK. The company, which was founded in 1989, is employee-owned.

The team spent time with chief executive officer Julia Davison, pedagogy and practice general manager Sue Robb and social impact general manager Myra Geddes.

They also toured Queensland and New South Wales, visiting centres and talking to centre directors and educators.

Angela Brown, employee partnership council chair, said the aim of the trip was to see how practitioners in the Australian centres were extending children’s learning.

“We were really interested in getting some insight into the practices and programs on offer, and how Goodstart has played such a big role in affecting government policy,” Ms Brown said.

The team was also interested in the looking at how outdoor environments were utilised in extreme weather conditions.

“We have extreme weather conditions in the UK but we’re at the other end of the spectrum so it was interesting to see how centres here deal with the heat,” Ms Brown said. “Outdoor environments are so important for children’s development.”

While the weather conditions may have been a major point of difference, the approach to providing early learning was similar, as were the natural, child-focused environments.

“It was a lovely experience and we all really enjoyed spending time with the teams at Goodstart.”

The team fly home on Saturday – after a walk over the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
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