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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 14040


Mr KEENAN (Stirling) (09:54): I rise today to congratulate the Salvation Army Balga Early Learning Centre on its recent achievement of receiving the highest rating possible under the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care. The Balga Early Learning Centre attained an overall grade of 'exceeding quality standard', which is a great achievement for a non-profit childcare centre that is situated in what is traditionally quite a tough area.

Balga is one of the areas I am very pleased to represent. It is an area that traditionally has a lot of new migrants. It is an area that has a reputation in Perth for being quite a tough area. I am not sure that that reputation is particularly well deserved, because the area has changed significantly over the past decade. It is true to say that the Balga Early Learning Centre do an exceptional job in caring and catering for the community that they serve.

Under the National Quality Framework, the centre was given a set of seven criteria that they were marked on. They received the highest mark of exceeding quality standard for four of the seven criteria, including educational program and practice; leadership service management; children's health and safety; and collaborative partnership with families and communities. They then received the highest mark available meeting quality standard for the remaining three criteria, which include physical environment, staffing arrangements and relationship with children.

I would like to congratulate Jo Ineson and all the staff at the Balga Early Learning Centre for this tremendous result, which is a testament to their very hard work and dedication to educating and caring for young children. The Balga Early Learning Centre is a pivotal institution in Stirling that deserves this recognition for the brilliant work that they do throughout my community.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank the children of the Salvation Army Balga learning centre for designing the image that we have used this year on our Christmas cards. The children drew pictures that reminded them of Christmas, including candy canes, presents, holly and a Christmas tree, which were beautifully coloured and which I will now use to be delivered to over 3,000 people for the Christmas cards that I am yet to turn my attention to.

It is a great pleasure to be able to visit institutions like the Balga Early Learning Centre within Stirling and to see the sorts of people who are working in these centres. They are going truly above and beyond to make sure that the children that they care for get the pest possible start in life. It has got a wonderful atmosphere and the infrastructure that they use is relatively old but they have done a tremendous job in the way it presents itself and the way that they have brought that infrastructure up to scratch in a building that would date back to the 1970s.

I am very proud of what they do. They are a wonderful bunch of people, and it is a great opportunity to be able to update the House on what is a tremendous institution. (Time expired)