Our Centre of the Year, St Leonards share their thoughts on how they won the top prize…

Celebrate Diversity 

We are lucky to have a multicultural team that reflects our local community. There are 13 different languages spoken within our centre team. This is hugely beneficial for helping new families and children to settle in. Having a staff member who speaks their mother tongue helps provide the family comfort and creates a feeling of home. 

Extensive Orientations

We offer our families at least 3 orientations. We ensure there is a staff member free to take the time and sit with them and answer all their questions, preparing them for what to expect e.g. that their child will probably cry at drop off and surprisingly when they see them again in the afternoon. If the family speaks another language, we ensure they meet a staff member that speaks their home language, even if that staff member is in another room. That way, the family can approach them for additional support when needed. 

Regular Communication

We build strong bonds with our families through constant communication. We ensure staff are available to talk to families in the afternoon and morning. We call during the day for anything specific the family may want to  know e.g. if the parent was anxious about how their child would go with Growfit (our sports program), to offer reassurance. We choose quiet times of the day to give them this information. That frees our team up during the busy collection times. 

 Strong Community Connections

We have strong links with the community and work to help raise interest in our centre. We run regular community events with our families, such as excursions to the zoo and museum with families at the weekend. This is usually done as a follow up to an interest shown by the children. We organise to meet the families and spend a few hours with them. The families really appreciate the effort and especially that our team give up part of their weekend to further develop relationships with children and their families. 

Team Spirit

Our team continually support each other in all aspects during the day and know that we are there for each other when needed. But most of all, we have fun, even under the pressures of day to day duties. We remember what our true purpose is, to make a difference in the lives of the children that we are lucky enough to have in our care.


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