Excellence and Innovation Awards | C&K - childcare and kindergarten

Excellence and Innovation Awards

C&K has a proud history of recognising and supporting individuals and services who champion children, families and the community. 

The C&K Excellence and Innovation Awards form part of the Queensland Early Education and Care Conference. The awards recognise C&K people and services who work collaboratively, who are innovative and creative with their programs. Each of the winners embodies the values of C&K and we’re excited to showcase and celebrate their great work. 


Our 2018 Winners

Professor Mary Mahoney Award for Excellence - C&K Bald Hills 

This award is presented to a very high achieving individual or service, who encompasses C&K values and who works diligently on a daily basis to achieve the key strategic priorities set by C&K. The winner of this award has gained great respect in the community, continues to be innovative in practice and certainly is a role model when it comes to connecting, collaborating and creating.

C&K Bald Hills are leaders when it comes to inclusion, diversity and advocacy. For the team, the rights of the child are acknowledged and embedded in practice, every day. They are advocates for all children’s right to choose. C&K Bald Hills, led by Deborah Mintern-Lane, continually looks to engage with both the local and professional community.

Award for Service Leadership - Kasey West, C&K Wilston Childcare Centre 

This award recognises exemplary leadership by an educator. It showcases efforts that go beyond normal expectations of daily service operation, in order to meet quality outcomes for children, families, educators, service, support professionals, community and greater education sector needs. The award acknowledges innovative solutions and efforts made across the many facets of an early years’ service which combine to enable the service to excel in their service delivery, advocate and lead change and positive create a positive work culture.

Kasey West leads the Birth to Three approach at C&K Wilston and is a mentor and leader to her team, and across C&K, and she is also a member of the Community of Practice for educational leadership. As a leader, Kasey engages in strong reflective practice and interprets the strategic initiatives for her team to put into practice.

Award for Safety Leadership - Highfields & District Community Kindergarten

This award recognises the work of aC&K employee or early years' service who provides consisently high standards of safety awareness and practice. It recongnises the multitude of influences on safety and the dynamic nature in which early years' services function. 

The team at C&K Highfields identified that stress and poor health were impacting on their ability to be active, energised educators. Together, they developed their own health and wellness program ‘Play Well, Live Well’. This innovative program resulted in increased strength, flexibility and cardio fitness, giving the educators more energy at work.

Award for the Arts - Bundaberg Collaborative Art Project Team 

This award recognises the work of an educator, or group of educators, who have consistently demonstrated high standards of excellence in relation to the arts in early childhood education. The winner of this award will have demonstrated excellence and innovation in arts-based projects/programs, promoting creativity and self-expression.

‘Every child is an artist’ and this collaborative project got children exploring their worlds through art in a unique way, and the Our Town project involved services from right across the Wide Bay region. The project was truly a community effort, involving more than 300 children, and epitomised the spirt that exists in regional communities and the great inspiration that art can bring to our lives.

Award for Emerging Educator - Jade Vallecera, C&K Carseldine Community Childcare 

This award recognises a C&K educator studying towards an approved early childhood qualification – a person who demonstrates passion and persistence for their professional growth as an early year’s educator.  The award celebrates our next generation of educators whose work with children, families, colleagues and community embodies what it means to be part of a C&K service and the Early Childhood profession.  

Jade has a strong willingness to step up, taking on many things not expected of her. In just a few years, she has grown from student to kindergarten assistant and now assistant director, demonstrating strong leadership qualities. Jade does a lot of professional development work, often in her own time, weaving that knowledge into her practice, and actioning change at a service level. 

Award for Pedagogy and Practice - Bribie Island Community Kindergarten 

This award recognises the work of an educator or group of educators providing consistently high standards of education and care and innovative work practices to achieve positive outcomes for children, families and communities. The winner of this award demonstrates sound relationships and a consistent approach in both pedagogy and practice.

C&K Bribie Island has a strong connection to nature, play and community and always strives to do better for children. They’re community activists for causes like wheelchair accessibility of the neighbouring reserve, and the introduction of a yarning circle and signage for indigenous plants in the reserve. ​They have maintained their ‘Excellent’ rating since 2014.

Award for Inclusive Practice - C&K Bald Hills Community Kindergarten 

This award recognises work done by an individual, an educator, or a service to support a child, group of children or family, to recognise and implement strategies to ensure inclusive practice which encompass dignity, equity and respect.

The educators at C&K Bald Hills are advocates for inclusion for every child. Social justice drives everything the team does, and they are active members of the Inclusion Community of Practice. C&K Bald Hills has cultivated relationships with community Elders, Montrose, allied health professionals, musicians and artists. For them, inclusive practice is a team effort, where everyone contributes.

Award for Customer Service - Paul Butler 

This award recognises efforts that go beyond normal expectations of daily service operation in order to meet customers’ needs. The award acknowledges innovative solutions and consistent efforts across the many facets of service delivery which, when combined, provide outstanding outcomes for customers, C&K and the wider education community.

Paul consistently solves IT issues in a timely, positive and helpful manner. He’s flexible in his approach, treats all customers with the same level of service and creates an atmosphere of cooperation. Paul knows everyone’s name, and has a deep understanding of services’ needs. He goes above and beyond to meet customer needs and expectations.


Past winners