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Day care fails the grade: WA childcare centres fail to meet new national standards

February 28, 2015 6:48pm

CLAIRE BICKERS EXCLUSIVE Perth Now

Day care fails the grade WA childcare centres fail to meet new national standards

File image. Almost half of the WA childcare services have been assessed as not meeting new national standards.

ALMOST half of the WA childcare services assessed against new national standards are not making the grade.

And 13 centres are currently listed as failing to meet the ­national standards in every quality area assessed despite already meeting WA standards, an analysis of the latest data shows.

The most common areas WA services were working ­towards in the latest data were educational program and practice, physical environment, children’s health and safety and leadership and service management.

Just 27 per cent of the state’s child care services have now been assessed under the new national quality standards (NQS) established in 2012, which go further than WA standards.

It’s the lowest proportion of services to be assessed in a state across Australia, equal with South Australia, as both states started the assessment process late.

The latest Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority data showed 44 per cent of WA services assessed had not yet met but were working towards the standard, 28 per cent had met the standard and 27 per cent were exceeding it.

ACECQA strategy, communications and engagement general manager Michael Petrie said services had already met local standards but the NQS was an added measure.

Day care fails the grade WA childcare centres fail to meet new national standards 2

Happy days: Unicare Early Childhood Education, the second WA day care centre to be given an excellent rating under the National Quality Standard, is host to four-year-olds Shahran Moodley, Yara Alduayji and James Wilshire. Picture: Richard Hatherly

Services are assessed across seven quality areas for things such as whether documentation on each child’s program and progress is available to families, sustainability practices, whether healthy eating is promoted and safe, clean and well maintained premises.

The December quarter figures show just one centre was rated “excellent” but another service, Unicare Early Childhood Education on the University of WA campus in Nedlands, has since achieved the accolade.

Tiny Beez Education and Care director Lara Skinner said she thought the standards were “fantastic” and overdue, but she had taken over management of the centre recently and was frustrated it still had a “working towards” rating.

Goodstart Early Learning Centre Halls Head director Joelene Brown said the centre had been part of the trial ­assessments and was still waiting to be reassessed after it had worked on all areas.

Buggles Child Care manager Lauren Arndt said the assessments had prompted major changes to teaching and learning and minor changes such as adding hand sanitiser spray.

ON TARGET

Services that are currently rated as working towards all areas of the National Quality Standard:

Buggles Child Care — Mandurah

Camp Australia Harmony Primary School OSHC — Atwell

First Steps @ Dianella — Dianella

Goodstart Early Learning Australind — Australind

Goodstart Early Learning Halls Head — Halls Head

Goodstart Early Learning Meadow Springs — Meadow Springs

Granny Glasgow Education and Care Inc — Carnarvon

Great Beginnings Childcare — Quinns Rocks

Teddy Bear Corner Child Care Centre — Hamilton Hill

Tiny Beez Education and Care — Claremont

Western Star Kids Family Day Care — Malaga

YMCA Sacred Heart OSHC — Highgate

Young Smarties Child Care Centre — Rivervale

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