Best childcare centres and preschools on the Northern Rivers
WHEN it comes to caring about families and providing top-notch care for kids, Evans Head-Woodburn Preschool is at the top of its game.
Under director Allyson Cuskelly, the community-based preschool, which has centres at Evans Head and Woodburn, is one of the best on the Northern Rivers.
They have exceeded the National Quality Framework standards and received national awards and honours.
Educational leader Cath Gillespie said they recently received the Anti-Bias Award, a national accolade that recognised the preschool's advocacy and anti-bias curriculum.
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"It's been a huge focus for us," she said.
"We believe that all children have a universal right to early childhood education, no matter who they are.
"We also work really hard on reconciliation and we have a nature classroom as well, so we take the kids out into the bush and we consult with elders and local custodians.
"Inclusion is very important.
"Our vision, our mission statement, is, 'together we make the world a better place'."
The National Quality Framework provides a national approach to regulation, assessment and quality improvement for early childhood education and care and outside school hours care services across Australia.
There are 21 centres on the Northern Rivers which are exceeding the national quality standards.
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Ms Gillespie said achieving ‒ let alone exceeding ‒ the standards was a huge task.But she said it was very important goal for their 45-year-old preschool, along with ensuring staff received professional training and guidance.
"One of our educators, Kirby Barker, recently won the Early Childhood Educator Award in the Young Achiever Awards NSW & ACT, which is quite prestigious," Ms Gillespie said.
"We work hard on professional development and planning.
"We want our educators to have quality training, and we receive a lot of support from the Northern Rivers Preschool Alliance.
"We are very supportive of our educators' health and wellbeing.
"Early childhood is a challenging profession. If our educators aren't supported 100 per cent, then the children and families within our care cannot be supported 100 per cent.
"This is reflected in our policies. We were recently part of the Early Childhood Australia bushfire recovery program.
"Many of our educators took part in a program of meditation and mindfulness."
HOW THEY RATED
● First Steps Early Learning Centre, Anzac Close, Lismore
● Goodstart Early Learning Goonellabah, Ballina Rd, Goonellabah
● Lismore Preschool, Brewster St, Lismore
● Lismore South Public School Preschool - Ngulliboo Jarjums, Cnr Phyllis and Wilson Streets
● Me and My House Child Care Centre, Diadem St, Lismore
● Ballina Aboriginal Child & Family Centre, Porter Park, Hayman St, West Ballina
● Ballina Fox Street Preschool, Fox St, Ballina
● Ballina River Street Children's Centre, River St, Ballina
● Goodstart Early Learning Ballina, Links Ave, East Ballina
● Casino Public School - Djanenjam Preschool
● Jumbunna Community Pre-school, High St, Casino
● St Mary's Community Preschool, Casino
● Evans Head Pre-school
● Woodburn-Evans Head Preschool, Woodburn
● Cawongla Playhouse
● Alstonville Community Preschool
● Possum Place Early Learning Centre, Alstonville
● Wollongbar Community Pre-School
● Nimbin Pre-School
● Tuntable Falls Early Childhood Centre
● The Channon Children's Centre
● Blinky's Corner Child Care Centre, Military Rd, Lismore
● East Lismore Community Preschool, Colleen Pl, East Lismore
● Goonellabah Preschool, Spring Ave, Goonellabah
● Bumblebee Early Education Centre, Slade St, Goonellabah
● Goonellabah Nestle In Preschool and Early Learning Centre, Oliver Ave, Goonellabah
● Active Kids After School Care, Summerland Christian College, Pineapple Rd, Goonellabah
● Active Kids After School Care, Oliver Ave, Goonellabah
● Helping Hands Wyrallah Road, Wyrallah Rd Public School, East Lismore
● Lismore Heights Outside School Hours Care, Lismore Heights Public School, High St
● Lismore Parish Centre Pre School, Zadoc St, Lismore
● Lismore South OSHC, Lismore South Public School Wilson Street
● PCYC- Out Of School Hours Lismore
● Possums Early Education Centre, Wilson St, Lismore
● Rainbow Region Kids Lismore, Pound St, Lismore
● Southern Cross University Children's Centre, Rifle Range Rd, Lismore
● The Friends Long Day Child Care Centre, St Vincent's Hospital, Dalley St, East Lismore
● The Learning Cottage, Keen St, Lismore
● Rainbow East Ballina OOSHC, Southern Cross Public School
● Rainbow Education & Care, John Sharpe St, Ballina
● Seeds Early Learning Centre, Westlands Dr, Ballina
● Active Kids After School Care, St Mary's Primary School, Centre Street, Casino
● Casino Baptist Church Christian Community Pre-school
● Casino West Public School Preschool
● Kookaburra Early Learning, Casino
● Rainbow Region Kids Casino
● Sandcastles Early Education Centre Evans Head
● Bentley Community Preschool
● Bundgeam Preschool, Kyogle
● Kunghur Community Pre-School
● Kyogle Pre-school
● Alstonville Nestle In Education and Care Centre
● Rainbow Region Kids Alstonville
● Rainbow Region Kids Wollongbar
● The Learning Cottage Wollongbar
● Goodstart Early Learning Lennox Head
● Lennox Head Community Preschool
● Byron Bay Out of School Hours Care
● Byron Bay Preschool Coogera Centre
● Byron Busy Kids
● Cavanbah Centre, Byron Bay
● Goodstart Early Learning Byron Bay
● Periwinkle Pre- School, Byron Bay
● Kool Beanz Academy Ocean Shores
● Ocean Shores Early Learning Centre
● Ocean Shores Preschool
● Rainbow Region Kids Ocean Shores
● Bangalow Community Children's Centre
● Bangalow OSHC
● Cobbers Child Care Centre, Mullumbimby
● Little Shearwater, Mullumbimby
● Mullumbimby Community Pre-School
● Mullumbimby Out of School Hours Care
● Coraki Preschool
WORKING TOWARDS NQS
● Northern Rivers Family Day Care
● Active Kids After School Care, Dawson St, Lismore
● Care-Ring Childrens Centre, Hayes St, Goonellabah
● Out of School Hours Goonellabah, Goonellabah Public School, Ballina Rd
● Jarjum Preschool, Rifle Range Rd, Lismore
● Our Lady Help Of Christians Parish Out School Hours Care, Rhodes St, South Lismore
● Ballina-Byron Family Day Care
● Emmanuel Anglican College Early Learning Centre, Horizon Dr, West Ballina
● Rainbow Central Ballina OOSHC, Ballina Public School
● Rainbow Station Early Education Centre, Casino
● Creating Footprints Childcare Centre, Kyogle
● Rainbow Region Kids Kyogle
● Uki OOSH
● Rainbow Lennox Head OOSHC
● Sandhills Early Childhood Centre, Byron Bay
● The Funhouse Oshc, St Finbarr's Catholic Primary School, Byron Bay
● Durrumbul Community Pre-School, Mullumbimby
NOT YET ASSESSED
● Active Kids After School Care, Swift St, Ballina
● Harmony Early Learning Journey Lennox Head
● Kool Beanz Academy Byron Bay
● Rainbow Teven Tintenbar OOSHC
● Kool Beanz Academy Mullumbimby
● Ngallingnee Jarjum Tabulam & District Community Preschool