June 21, 2024 1:14 AM

Excellence accreditation cause for celebration


Singleton Pre-School Inc. has become one of 44 childrens education and care services across Australia to be awarded the National Quality Standard rating of excellent.

Director Neisha Dean is ecstatic about the rating of excellent and says the staff, children and parents have been celebrating the news since it was announced last month.

“An overall rating of ‘exceeding” the standard is given to services that go above and beyond the requirements in at least four of the seven quality areas,” Neisha said.

“We achieved a rating of exceeding in all seven quality areas which made us eligible to apply for the highest possible rating of ‘Excellent” and on October 7 we received the wonderful news that we were successful in achieving that rating,” she said with a huge smile of satisfaction.

Neisha has been director at the preschool for 27 years, something she thought she would never do.

“They say you get stale if you stay in the one place too long but I love this place so much, the staff and the families are just wonderful.”

Enjoying their lunch at Singleton Heights Pre-School Inc. are Lewis Cass, Khloe Fitzner, Arnika Hapeta and Grayson McRae.

Community partnerships were key to the excellent rating and those partnerships keep getting stronger every year.

The relationship with Cooinda Aged Care Facility, the support the school receives from a local woodworker who doesn’t mind sharing his knowledge with the children and a program where the children care for seedlings for rehabilitation projects at Glencore Ravensworth Open Cut were highlighted in the process.

The pre-school’s relationship with local Aboriginal Elders, the physical Acknowledgement of Country at the building’s entry and the inclusion of an Aboriginal Program Coordinator within staff ensures there is a holistic approach to incorporating culture in all aspects of the preschool’s operation.

The pre-school was acknowledged for its capacity to successfully apply for grants and in the past two years has attracted $233,000 in grant funding.

Recent grants have supported the installation of new playground equipment and soft fall surface, new flooring, a new verandah area, new sun shade, furniture purchases and a children’s bathroom upgrade.

“We have an amazing natural outdoor playground, the children participate in nature programs in which they explore our surrounding environment while, a gravel pit with lumps of coal, woodwork shed and camping area reflect inclusion of areas relevant to the children’s experiences,” she said.

The pre-school has also been recipient of the NSW Tidy Towns state award in 2019 as the 1st place winner in the “Schools Environmental Achievement Award Category E, population over 20 000”.

The rating determines how often the pre-school is visited by those doing the assessment and Neisha said it would be another three years before they would need to go through the process again but says they won’t be resting on their laurels in between.

“There is always something happening here, always something going on and I can’t thank the staff enough for their dedication to making this a wonderful place for the children.”

As for the kids, the reason for coming to preschool is summed up by young Lewis Cass.

“I like playing with my friends and riding the bikes,” Lewis told The Hunter River Times to which those kiddies around hm agreed.

It is all about having fun with good friends.