Belief in quality early childhood education and care for families for 29 years has seen Gunnedah Family Day Care named the best in NSW.
The Gunnedah service was recognised statewide in the 2014 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards and is now in the running for the national title.
Gunnedah Family Day Care manager Kerrie Patterson said the team was humbled by the recognition.
“Out of so many services nominated, for ours to be significant and to be named the state winner was very humbling,” Ms Patterson said.
“We believe in our quality service – we don’t believe we do anything extraordinary, but we are a close-knit team who have a passion for early childhood education.”
The family day care service provides support, training and monitoring for family day care educators in the operation of regulated, quality early childhood education and care from the educator’s own home.
Ms Patterson said a number of educators were also nominated for the Educator of the Year category.
“It’s not just the co-ordinating team, we recognise our 26 dedicated educators who strive for quality to create terrific outcomes for the children,” Ms Patterson said.
“Our entire team are proactive in seeking out best practices and supporting children and their families.”
The Gunnedah service was one of the first family day care services to be assessed and rated as “exceeding” the National Quality Standard by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA).
“We are well respected within the early childhood community both locally and further afield and are seen to be leaders in innovation and the implementation of changes within the sector,” Ms Patterson said.
“We pride ourselves on striving to meet recognised best practice.”
Family Day Care Australia chief executive officer Carla Northam said the 2014 Excellence in Family Day Care Awards were an opportunity to recognise unique, innovative and quality service delivery.
“Gunnedah Family Day Care was a stand-out choice for state winner because they demonstrate a strong engagement with the National Quality Framework and the highest of standards in educator practice; educator support and business management,” Ms Northam said.
“The family day care service is an integral part of the community, providing flexible, quality education and care with the aim of achieving excellent outcomes for children.”
The Gunnedah Family Day Care team will attend the Visions for Leadership Symposium in Adelaide on October 25, where the Excellence in Family Day Care National Award winner will be announced.
Ms Patterson said Gunnedah Family Day Care has a waiting list for care and was in dire need of more trained early childhood educators to meet the needs of Gunnedah’s growing population.