When you ask the children of Bermagui Preschool why their preschool is so great, they will give you plenty of reasons.
“Our teachers are excellent,” Cooper Fowler said.
“It’s lots of fun,” Angel Smith said.
“Because it’s cool,” Gus Pickard said.
It is not surprising the preschool has received such high praise, as it has recently been announced as scoring a rating of excellent in the National Rating and Assessment for Australian Children’s Services, which is the highest rating an education and care service can achieve under the National Quality Framework.
Director/teacher Narelle Myers said when she first heard about the news she did her “little happy dance”, and she thought the achievements of the preschool were due to the team of dedicated teachers, educators, board members and families.
It was a huge achievement, as she said there are currently only 18 other preschools rated excellent across Australia and she believed only two of them were from regional areas.
“For us as a regional preschool to be getting the same rating as city preschools is pretty impressive,” Ms Myers said.
“I feel we are at the advantage because we live in a supportive community where everyone is really supportive of our preschool.”
She believed one reason the preschool had been awarded the rating was because of the partnerships it has with the community, such as Four Winds and OzHarvest.
“And we continually reflect on the quality of our services and ways to improve it,” she said.
“Even though we are a small rural preschool our children and families deserve not just quality but exceptional early childhood education and care.”
The preschool is very different to when Ms Myers first started there 20 years ago. Back then, she was one of two staff members, but these days there is 21.
“I feel really privileged to work with these educators, because they are really enthusiastic, intelligent and inspired,” outside of school care educator Caitlin Brown said.
“They are always looking for ways to become better at what they do.”
While Robert Connal has only been recently employed as a early childhood educator at the preschool, he said it was a lovely and supportive environment to work in.
In the future, Ms Myers said the preschool was considering bringing in a gender equity program and was getting ready to develop the Moodji Cultural Garden in a next door paddock, to provide education about what Australia would have looked like before European colonisation.