SEVERAL south-west Victorian kindergartens and childcare centres have been ranked among the best in Australia under a new national quality standard (NQS) assessment.
The assessments by representatives of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is part of a major restructure of preschooling Australia-wide which included extra class hours introduced this year.
Three of Warrnambool’s facilities — East Warrnambool Kindergarten, Allansford Kindergarten and Florence Collins Childcare Centre exceeded the national benchmark while Sherwood Park Childcare Centre and family day care services met the assessment criteria and the vacation care program was “working towards the NQS”.
Other kindergartens are yet to be assessed.
In Glenelg Shire, Heywood Kindergarten was found to be exceeding the standards while Dartmoor Children’s Centre met the standards.
Mayor Karen Stephens said the results were a promising indication of the quality of early learning services in the area.
Corangamite Shire Council also fared well with five of its seven kindergartens being assessed.
Cobden and District Kindergarten, Skipton Kindergarten and Lismore Preschool exceeded the criteria while Terang Kindergarten and Timboon and District Kindergarten met the NQS.
“Overall, of all the areas in our centres assessed, we had 20 categories which exceeded and 15 which met the standards,” shire manager of community services Helen Durant said.
“We think it is an outstanding result.”
In Moyne Shire, Mortlake and District Kindergarten exceeded the standards, Koroit and District Kindergarten met the standards while Hawkesdale and District Family Services, Koroit Childcare Centre, Macarthur Kindergarten and Port Fairy Community Services Centre were “working towards NQS”.