Penrith centre wins big at Early Childhood Education & Care Awards

Rachael Sydir from Explore & Develop Penrith.
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Explore & Develop Penrith has been named Outstanding Organisation at the 2022 HESTA Early Childhood Education & Care Awards, which were held on Friday night.

A special celebration was held in Canberra to acknowledge the vital role our early childhood educators play in helping set our future generations up for success.

Explore & Develop Penrith was awarded Outstanding Organisation, for their leadership and innovation to support the mental health and wellbeing of young children through the ‘Key Resilience, Mental Health and Trauma’ program.

Rachael Sydir, Owner/Director of Explore & Develop thanked HESTA for seeing the value in their project.

“Our team is grateful and humbled to have won this award. The team opened their hearts and allowed themselves to be open, honest, and vulnerable. Without this, we would not have been able to achieve these outcomes,” Ms Sydir said.

“Being recognised for our commitment to children’s health and wellbeing encompassing mental health, trauma and attachment is something that we are really proud of. It means so much to us as the project is something that we have spent a lot of time learning and embedding into our practice and pedagogy. The key resilience program has allowed us to see ourselves and our children through a lens of compassion and empathy.”

The team will use the prize money to continue their work with their Mental Health Occupational Therapist, Lorrie Louws, as well as branch out into the local community and share the work they are doing, so that other Early Learning services can see the positive impact that the Key Resilience program can make.

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