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BEST START: Goodstart Early Learning prides itself on being an inclusive and welcoming environment for your children.
BEST START: Goodstart Early Learning prides itself on being an inclusive and welcoming environment for your children. Suzanne McCorkell

The values that guide Coffs Coast childcare centre

"WE WANT an authentic environment where everyone is valued and welcome."   

That is the message from three local Goodstart Early Learning centres based in Moonee Beach, Toormina and Coffs Harbour.   

Goodstart is a not-for-profit social enterprise with a goal to ensure all Australian children are given the best start in life, regardless of their circumstances.   

Goodstart Coffs Harbour centre director Marg Brien said the Goodstart model was inclusive and meant centres worked with families to provide quality learning and care for all children.   

"Being not-for-profit means that any surplus is reinvested back into the centres," she said.   

"From upgrading playgrounds and centre facilities to buying new resources and investing heavily in training for staff, it's all about making sure we provide the best possible learning environments for children."  

Behind everything the Goodstart centres do is a strong social purpose: to help create better lives for children and families.   

"This means we dedicate time, budget, resources and a whole lot of passion to supporting our most vulnerable," Ms Brien said.   

"We run dedicated programs and services to ensure they don't miss out on quality early learning and have a network of people and services to support them."   

The early learning journey starts at birth and Goodstart has dedicated nursery rooms to ensure brain development is supported from the earliest possible age.   

"At our centre we have a teacher in the nursery room as we believe this is such an important developmental stage," Ms Brien said. "While we have three nursery rooms, there are only eight children in each to ensure we maintain a calm and gentle environment with dedicated staff."   

As well as providing a learning environment that is non-judgemental and caters for all types of needs, Goodstart has a strong focus on language and literacy.   

The Language and Literacy Program is for three to five-year-olds and incorporates an in-house library, where more than $6000 has been spent on new books.  

"Children are able to borrow books just like a real library and enjoy them at home with their families," Ms Brien said.    "Every two weeks, we use public transport to run an excursion to the local library. This also strengthens our community relationships.   

"Throughout the year, we are involved with a number of groups and initiatives including Loaves and Fishes which supports homeless people, which gives our children and families the opportunity to give back."  

Above all, the centre values relationships with families and has created an environment that families are very much a part of.   

"We believe deep relationships with both the children and their families are vital. Nothing will work unless we get that right," Ms Brien said.  

The centre regularly holds Parent Nights where families come for dinner, the children are looked after and parents are able to partake in information and education sessions on a range of topics and interests.   

"At all Goodstart centres we want to understand the needs of our children and families and we encourage open communication," she said.   

Book a centre tour at Goodstart Toormina, Coffs Harbour or Moonee Beach today to discuss how they can give your child the best possible start. Find your local centre HERE.