Goodstart Early Learning Social Note Holder Update
QUALITY - NQS assessment summary
We have continued to embrace and implement the National Quality Reforms and are realising the benefits from an increased focus on improving our quality.
Both Goodstart and the sector have been working hard to drive change and a commitment to continuous improvement through the implementation of the National Quality Reforms. Sixty-four of our centres across Australia have received their ratings with almost half meeting or exceeding the requirements. As the standards are relatively new, with much higher level of rigour than previous, this is a significant achievement. The remaining centres are actively working towards meeting the standards. We are particularly pleased with results in Victoria, where 70% of centres assessed received a rating of meeting or exceeding the standards.
Our centres are committed to going beyond childcare to early learning and we are looking forward to seeing the results from future assessments, to be conducted throughout the year.
INCLUSION - Social inclusion initiatives
Goodstart has taken an important step towards realising our inclusion goals by starting to implement our Social Inclusion Strategy. In all our centres we aspire to embed a culture that encourages strong engagement with families and communities to better support children.
Building on our commitment to ensuring all children have the opportunity to access to quality early learning opportunities we have:
provided additional funding to selected centres in low socio-economic areas
supported our centres to build stronger connections with local allied health and other social services
developed specific inclusion programs to meet the unique needs of local communities
In South Australia all of our centres in SEIFA 1 areas (lowest socio-economic areas) have been accepted as members of Foodbank SA which enables them to purchase low cost food from Foodbank. Membership also enables centres to provide additional food to children and to invest savings back into programs that benefit these children and their families.
INCLUSION - First five years campaign
In January 2013, Goodstart launched a new campaign which aims to raise awareness about the importance of the early years in Australian children’s development and to ensure the best possible outcomes for society.
The First Five Years campaign begins conversations that we hope will help unite families, early childhood educators and policy makers on a national pathway to change, with greater emphasis being placed on children’s first five years. As part of the campaign, Goodstart has developed a community service announcement which has been aired on television since December. You can find out more by clicking here.
An enrolment version of the TV commercial aired on targeted television programs and has driven a significant spike in enrolment enquiries and increased traffic to our website, all of which supports a greater understanding of the role Goodstart plays in the quality early learning and care of Australia’s children.
STABILITY - Financial performance
Goodstart’s revenue for the first half of the 2012-13 financial year has improved on last year however, the increase is less than forecasted projections and we are in a good position in terms of our debt reduction and cash reserves.
Since November 2012, we have been focussed on a targeted and comprehensive enrolment and retention campaign (which links in with the broader First Five Years campaign) aimed at increasing attendance at our Centres.
More broadly over the next six months we also will be focusing on creating business efficiencies within the organisation to reduce operating costs and meet the additional costs of continued implementation of the National Quality Reforms.