The KindiCare Excellence Awards celebrate the top performing early childhood education and care centres right across Australia.
2023 Award Winners
Western Australian Regional Winner
Goodstart Early Learning Albany
KindiCare●October 22, 2023
Goodstart Early Learning Albany is our Regional State Winner for Western Australia, with a KindiCare Rating of 9.4, and although we’re very taken by the purpose-built facilities, it’s the people that make this place special.
And we don’t just mean the children, families and educators! At Goodstart Albany, there’s a feeling that little learners need to be part of the local community to reach their full potential, and the educators proactively look for ways to support each and every child, with the help of special guests and special services. Centre Director, Hayley Cox, says, “All children are individuals and need different types of support. It is not possible for just one person to be able to provide this individualised support to all children, so we look to people and organisations in our area to support us. These include Wanslea and the WA Country Health Service, as well as our local First Nations community.” Hayley says, “We have had First Nations artists in the centre running art sessions and teaching children how to paint some local areas and tell stories through art. We have also had our educators participate in a walk on country through Kurrah Mia, hosted by an Indigenous man named Larry Blight, to build on their own knowledge and confidence in teaching the children about reconciliation.” There are also plenty of opportunities for the children to step outside their service and make a great difference in other people’s lives. Goodstart Albany’s regular cross-generational catch-ups are a perfect example of this. The centre has partnered with Clarence Estate Residential Health & Aged Care to provide an intergenerational learning experience, and groups of preschoolers and educators connect with their local aged care home every month to play games, sing songs and generally have a fun time. Hayley says, “We take turns visiting one another. One month the children visit the residents at Clarence Estate, and the next month the residents visit us in the centre. During these visits, there are opportunities for engagement, conversation and growth of knowledge and understanding – not just for our children, but for the residents of Clarence Estate as well.” Under-fives also get to have a regular out-the-gate experience at their local park, where they’re encouraged to look, listen, touch and talk (under the supervision of their amazing educators, of course!) Hayley says, “Many children are hands-on learners, and we value providing opportunities for them to enter the community or have the community come to them. We believe these are some of the richest learning opportunities we can offer.” There’s certainly no doubt that the team knows what they’re doing! Two of the people in their Kindy room, their Educational Leader and their Assistant Director are all Bachelor-qualified Early Childhood Teachers, and the whole team is deeply committed to delivering a rich curriculum that recognises the strengths, challenges, interests and character of every single child. They also recognise that every family is different, and because practical matters matter, Goodstart Albany offers the longest childcare opening hours in their immediate area to accommodate lots of different working parents – from part-timers to nine-to-fivers to those putting in non-standard hours. Hayley says, “We provide care for a lot of children of essential workers who start before 7am. We offer the children breakfast and help them as they prepare for their day. Many come to us straight from bed and need assistance changing out of their pyjamas and brushing their hair.” This is all in a day’s work for the Goodstart Albany team, and although we often hear that it takes a village to raise a child, there’s definitely truth in this old adage, and the way the whole community comes together to support juniors, seniors and everyone in between, says a lot about this service. They are very deserving of their 2023 Regional State KindiCare Excellence Award, and we give a big round of applause to Hayley and everyone in her childcare community.