So you’ve decided to apply for the ACECQA Excellent Application?
Having just completed a Service Application for Excellence, here are some tips to get you started:
1. Now is not the time to be modest! Be proud; describe your “you-nique” context.
2. What makes your service demographic, context, and your community an exceptional service? Your service ‘point of difference’ will be an inch wide and a mile deep. Is there a program or practice that you’ve designed? Describe your unique aspect of Excellence.
3. So when you’ve described the ‘how, why and who’ of the project… then it’s on to ‘show’. Show that you do what you say you do. Show how you share your learning with other professionals. Who is following your lead? The evidence you present will be very diverse from every other service.
4. Avoid depending solely on internal sources of evidence. External voices will gain more weight. Consider using evidence from people outside of your service in the community sector -for example the Local Council partnerships etc. Writing “We are excellent because…” probably won’t swing an Excellent rating.
5. Start now. Collections of documents, photographs etc. from external voices (neighboring schools, community groups) will take time.
If you are successful – Congratulations –let the celebrations begin. Your practice is affirmed as being an inspiration to peers in ECEC services.
If you’re not successful – accept the decision, and continue the quality improvement cycle. Receive the application results like a true professional that you are.
I have educators tell me “I’m so glad that we did this Application Process ….. We can see now where the focus will be for the future.” I love these ‘lightbulb’ moments, where educators gain sight of the planning for the future.
So for those services considering writing an application, enjoy the ride. Use the process to grow and develop. With clarity comes change.