According to ACECQA (the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority), there are just six childcare or long day care centres in the Sydney region that provide the very highest standard of care. They received the Excellent rating under the National Quality Framework, which is equivalent to getting an overall A if centres were to receive a standard report card. The assessors rated these establishments according to the following seven criteria: educational program and practice, children’s health and safety, physical environment, staffing arrangements, relationships with children, collaborative partnerships with families and communities, and governance and leadership. The following childcare providers excelled in all seven categories, receiving the highest possible marks, and have entered the elite 1% of childcare establishments to achieve Excellent status.
The six best centres are diverse in their offerings and are surprisingly spread out across the Sydney region. Hillsong Child Care Centre in Baulkham Hills, roughly 27 km northwest of Sydney’s CBD, is one of two Christian childcare services on the list. KU Lance, located in Miller’s Point on the northwestern edge of Sydney’s CBD, is run by a not-for-profit organization that gets its kids outdoors by taking them on excursions to the Barangaroo Headland Park, having them care for a kitchen garden and taking care of pets. Kids participate in yoga, cooking, the arts as well as literacy and numeracy activities.
Tigger’s Honeypot in Randwick, which is about 6 km southeast of Sydney’s CBD, is owned and operated by the University of NSW. It has outdoor lawns and a small woodland for the kids to explore, and chickens and a vegetable patch for the kids to look after. Uniting Dove Cottage Early Learning in Bankstown, a suburb roughly 20 km west of Sydney’s CBD, cares for just 40 children and promotes cultural inclusivity. It is part of the Uniting Church network. Victoria Avenue Children’s Centre in Concord West, approximately 16 km west of Sydney’s CBD and just east of Bicentennial Park, is run by the Canada Bay City Council and is particularly proud of its multicultural programs. For example, this last year children celebrated the Chinese New Year with costumes, special events and parental participation. The Waratah Cottage Early Learning Centre in Claymore rounds off our list of the very best childcare centres in the Sydney region. Located around 54 km west from Sydney’s CBD, the centre is run by Campbelltown City Council and has a large outdoor playing area with a big sandpit.
Those are the only six childcare centres in the Sydney region that were assessed as Excellent. If you are interested in seeing how well your current childcare provider performed in its last assessment, or in viewing the marks of all childcare centres in the Sydney region, try EducationGPS.org’s Childcare Report Cards. These report cards give you A-F grades for ACECQA’s seven official criteria, and make comparisons of childcare centres easy. For more specific advice about childcare and schooling in Sydney, check out EducationGPS.org.