ON THE CARDS: Tully Clarke, 4 (back left) and director Bridget Olssen watch on as Thomas Brady Smith, 4 and educator Lisa Thompson look at some cards at UnitingCare Jack and Jill Preschool in Grafton which was one of only six childcare centres in NSW to be rated
ON THE CARDS: Tully Clarke, 4 (back left) and director Bridget Olssen watch on as Thomas Brady Smith, 4 and educator Lisa Thompson look at some cards at UnitingCare Jack and Jill Preschool in Grafton which was one of only six childcare centres in NSW to be rated "Excellent" by ACECQA.

Grafton preschool earns an Excellent rating

UNITINGCARE Jack and Jill Preschool at Grafton is at the top of the hill and will not be tumbling down after it became the sixth preschool in the state to receive an Excellent rating.

The National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care rates the schools.

Out of 6000 preschools with an Exceeding rating in Australia, only 30 were upgraded to Excellent.

UnitingCare Jack and Jill Preschool director Bridget Olssen said it was surreal to hold the best rating in Australia.

"Especially because we're regional, we were so overwhelmed that they would give it to us," Mrs Olssen said.

Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority ) board chair Rachel Hunter congratulated the preschool on its achievement.

"UnitingCare Jack and Jill believe all children have a voice and deserve to be heard in their preschool and community," Ms Hunter said.

"This is reflected in the preschool's exceptional programs and practice," she said.

UnitingCare Jack and Jill recently collaborated with the Roads and Maritime Service on the redesign of the Grafton Bridge.

The collaboration stemmed from the children's interest in bridges and block play.

Project managers from the RMS bridge team discussed the design of the new bridge with the children and listened to their ideas.

Educators then supported the children to put in submissions to the project through children's drawings and statements.

The children's interest in bridges and block play was channelled to help develop drawing, thinking and language skills.

Educators also involved the children in the renovation of the preschool's outdoor play space.



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