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Sydney child-care centre exceeds national standards

166621590A NSW child-care centre has been rated as exceeding national standards across all seven quality areas of the National Quality Standard (NQS).

UnitingCare’s St John’s Child Care Centre, in the Sydney North Shore suburb of Neutral Bay, had been given an “exceeding” rating – the second-highest, below “excellent” – in the areas assessed: educational program and practice, children’s health and safety, physical environment, staffing arrangements, relationships with children, collaborative partnerships with families and communities, and leadership and service management.

St John’s is a 44-place education and care service offering long day care to children up to six years old. Acting director Clare Turner said the staff were delighted that their work had been recognised.

“All of our staff are dedicated educators who put their heart and souls into the work they do everyday. We always strive for high quality, so we are very proud of this rating,” she said.

The NQS was launched by the federal government last year as part of the National Quality Framework (NQF). The program requires early childhood educators all across the sector to be qualified with a certificate III in early childhood by January 2014. It aims to give universal access to preschool, with providers following just one set of national regulations. It is expected that by end of 2013, all four-year-old children will have 15 hours a week of free preschool programs.

UnitingCare Children’s Services is the third-largest provider of children’s services in NSW, with more than 50 services in NSW and ACT, and providing education and care services to more than 5,000 children every year.

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