Lady Gowrie Integrated Child and Family Centre is the winner of the Advancing Pedagogy award in the 2018 HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards.
The Tasmanian centre was recognised for their evidence-based action research project ‘Physical Health and Wellbeing: Innovative approaches in an inner-city community’ which aims to build educators’ capacity to provide opportunities for children to develop their physical health and wellbeing.
Co-team leader, Bridget Blain says the project’s design was determined after research from the Australian Early Development Census revealed children attending their service were at higher risk of being developmentally vulnerable in the areas of physical health and wellbeing.
This finding meant the project would focus on exploring ways to improve children’s physical health and wellbeing, in particular developing their gross motor skills.
“As a result of the project educators are now working more intensively to create physical environments that thrill and challenge children,” Bridget says.
A multidisciplinary team was brought together to facilitate the project which included approaches like introducing activities to challenge children’s physical abilities.
“A great outcome of the project is the increased focus on providing myriad opportunities for genuinely effortful activity within all of our children’s learning spaces, both indoors and out," Bridget says.
Being recognised in this year's Awards has topped a remarkable year of for the centre.
"There are so many things that we find rewarding in our work," Bridget says. "Building strong relationships with children and families and sharing in their achievements are amongst the greatest!
"It’s a privilege to represent the Lady Gowrie Tasmania Integrated Child and Family Service team and our professional community, who have been alongside us on this journey.
The centre plans to use the prize money from proud Awards sponsors ME - the bank for you, to further explore the benefits of Action Research.