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13 April, 2022

Small preschool, big city

By Caitlin James

Gilgandra Preschool has won four awards at the Excellence in Early Childhood Education Awards, as well as being finalists in 15 others.

Staff members travelled to Sydney on March 26, and although they knew they were finalists in all 19 awards they applied for, winning four of them was a complete surprise.

In the multicultural program excellence and the inclusivity educational programme awards, Gilgandra Preschool were competing against 500 early childhood services, including franchises in both remote and metropolitan areas.

“You realise how small we are,” said assistant director Jo Buckland.

“Everyone was googling Gilgandra to work out where we were. It really put into perspective how small we were compared to all the big corporations we were up against.”

The preschool also walked away with the regional educational programme excellence award and team excellence award. Preschool director Kristy Hyndes spoke highly of her fellow staff and the dedication they show towards the preschool.

“We wouldn’t have won that without everyone contributing, and it’s a testament to how each staff member supports one another,” said Ms Hyndes.

“Without the staff, the things we do just would not be possible.”

The Gilgandra Preschool team were overwhelmed with the commendation they received at the awards night.

“Every time we went up the people that presented us the awards actually commended us on the application and what we do,” said Ms Hyndes.

“Everything we wrote in our application is what we do,” said Ms Buckland.

“There was no wishy-washy stuff, it was all exactly what we do, and how we do it. Kristy and I are passionate and proud of what we do,” said Ms Buckland.

Although this was a massive achievement, Ms Hyndes believes that there is always room for improvement.

“We are always striving to be better, not for recognition, but for the benefit of the children, families, and our staff.”

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