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Education and Care Services



General Manager Education and Care

“…each day the Education and Care team…take small steps towards improving our practice and providing exceptional care for children and families.”

This annual report is the first for me as the incoming General Manager of Education and Care, and I must start by thanking the amazing people of Lady Gowrie Tasmania (LGT) for their warm welcome and support as I have transitioned into this role, and to life in Tasmania.

As I reflect on the achievements and challenges of the 2022-23 financial year, what strikes me as most exceptional are the people who make up this incredible organisation.

With the extraordinary years of the COVID pandemic largely behind us, it had been assumed that life would return to ‘normal’ in the latter part of 2022 and into 2023; however, this has not been the case. Despite the easing of the restrictions that accompanied the pandemic, families have continued to embrace the changes to the way they live their lives that evolved through lockdowns, with more working from home; part time, flexible working arrangements and informal care options provided by family being utilised than in pre-pandemic times. This has had a significant, ongoing impact on both our workforce and on our service utilisation.

In addition to these ongoing challenges, the Education and Care sector continues to see regular changes in legislation and regulation bringing with it an increased pressure to provide the highest quality of care in line with our ‘Children First’ mission, whilst navigating ongoing transformation – as a sector, as an organisation, as service delivery teams and as professionals.

In my first meeting with Service Managers, I spoke about the collective impact of many small steps taken by each of us in the same direction as being the most impactful action that we could make to achieve our goals. In the busyness of everyday life, it is easy to forget all the small steps that we have taken towards ensuring that every child and every family who accesses our services have the best experience with early and middle childhood education and care.

Over the last 12 months, our focus has been on connection, and we have taken many small steps collectively and as individuals to that end. Aspiring leaders were connected with the opportunity to participate in LGT’s leadership program – developing the skills to motivate, guide and inspire those around them. Educators were connected to professional development opportunities, with 10 Educators selected to attend the 2022 ECA conference in Canberra; and child protection and first aid courses being offered to all Educators across the state for the first time.

The Education and Care Leadership Team (ECLT) was reimagined in early 2023, with Regional Manager roles for North LDC (Courtney Hobbs), South LDC (Miffy Wedd) and OSHC Statewide (Kellie Guard) appointed with the intention of connecting directly with service managers and developing strong supportive relationships with service teams. Our Compliance Manager (Mel Byrne), Practice and Pedagogy Manager (Shannon Gall), Operations Manager (Kathy Ortmann) and Trainee Co-ordinator (Lisette Graham) widened the scope of their roles, connecting our people with systems, supports and processes to make their work easier, more streamlined, and more meaningful.

Our Service Managers attended two Connection Day events, held each quarter to provide opportunities to build relationships with colleagues and the ECLT, develop their skills and knowledge as Education and Care leaders and to celebrate their achievements. The Connection Days have been a highlight for me this year as they have provided me with an opportunity to connect with each of our amazing leaders who work so hard for their teams, LGT and the children and families attending our services. Their commitment and tenacity in busy and difficult times is inspiring, and I thank them sincerely for everything that they do.

Service Managers have also had the opportunity to connect through professional development by participating in the Global Leadership Wellbeing program held across 2022-23, and LDC Service Managers in the south connected to our northern cousins from Gowrie Queensland through a professional exchange which saw 10 Managers from Queensland visit Hobart in 2022, and 10 LGT Managers visit Brisbane in 2023.

Our Education and Care Services played a significant role in supporting children and families through one of the 18 Long Day Care services, 19 Outside School Hours Care services, 1 Family Day Care Scheme and 2 Preschool programs. This is evidenced during the reporting period where LGT Education and Care Services supported:


LDC – 2495 Children

OSHC – 3369 Children

FDC – 111 Children


LDC – 1912 families

OSHC – 2152 families

FDC – 103 families

We connected 8 families who had not accessed education and care services before with our Alanvale service through partnering with the Department for Education, Children and Young People to deliver the Working Together program and connected 5975 children with their local community through our education and care services.

We connected our northern regional management team including education and care staff, Inclusion Support Agency staff and admin staff by moving into our fit-for-purpose Head Office in Wellington Street, Launceston; providing space for meetings, collaboration and a place for our service delivery teams to visit and access support.

We continued to connect with the local Midway Point community as we worked together with our building partners towards opening our Penna Road Education and Care service and we connected as an organisation through celebrations such as International Women’s Day and Reconciliation Week events.

While these are the highlights of a very successful year, each day the Education and Care team – educators, managers, support staff and ECLT; take small steps towards improving our practice and providing exceptional care for children and families. I would like to acknowledge every team member for their efforts and continued commitment to putting ‘Children First’. Our services wouldn’t be the same without your contributions.

I would also like to thank our colleagues within Lady Gowrie Tasmania– the Learning, Development and Inclusion Team and Annette Barwick, the Head Office Team and Sam Wesson, and our incredible CEO Mat Rowell for your support and guidance over the past year. Our services are only able to provide high quality education and care due to your work alongside us.

I am so proud of what we have accomplished in 2022-23, and I look forward to an even brighter 2023-24.

Pedagogy and Practice 

The Lady Gowrie Tasmania (LGT) Community of Practice has continued to grow as services share examples of their practices and this year, we used this platform to track the travels of the endangered, orange-bellied parrot messenger bird ‘Muta’ as it visited all LGT Services. Muta is palawa kani word for bird and through its visits, supported educators in connecting to Country, exploring sustainability, and embedding Tasmanian Aboriginal perspectives.

With changes to the Education and Care Leadership Team, my role has now become statewide, and I have enjoyed working closely with Long Day Care and Outside School Hours Service Managers and creating tools to support their work. Online induction videos were created to support new Educators with learning about pedagogy and practice, LGT policies and procedures as well as an organisation induction. We were able to support Service Managers in uploading Quality Improvement Plans (QIP’s) and progress notes to the Education and Care Unit’s (ECU) portal with new National Quality Framework regulations coming into place.

This year I also supported the leadership program participants in their Community of Practice learning, training, and supporting their coaching/mentoring relationships. The program successfully supported 15 participants through an extensive professional development program ending in retreat where they shared their learning outcomes for the program.

This year we have continued our four-tiered professional learning cycle designed to communicate LGT’s expectations of high-quality practices. We held state-wide ‘Think Tanks’ to gather our collective voices on what matters to us in offering high-quality education and care and how to practically implement our vision for best practice. Through collecting our vision and matching this with research of best practice, we created a suite of support documents. Statewide online professional learning also took place to unpack these support documents to ensure they were embedded at every LGT service. The documents included: Quality Interactions and Relationships with Children; Planning and Documentation; and Environments.

Shannon Gall – Pedagogy and Practice Manager 



The Lady Gowrie Tasmania (LGT) Education and Care Team continuously reviews policies and procedures to meet current standards, regulations and required updates. The focus during this reporting period has been the Australian Children’s Education and Care (ACECQA) listed prescribed policies, some examples include: sleep and rest; administration of first aid; emergency and evacuation; infectious diseases; excursions; and interactions with children and enrolment. We are committed to fostering our community relationships by engaging with a number of external programs who support us with the review process of our policies, two we have worked with this year were Move Well Eat Well and Cancer Council Tasmania.

During 2022-23 many of our Long Day Care Education and Care Services renewed their Move Well Eat Well (MWEW) status. MWEW is a Tasmanian government initiative that supports and promotes the healthy development of children and young people through physical activity and healthy eating ensuring that it is a positive part of each child’s day. The MWEW Award is made up of six messages around healthy eating and active play: Tap into Water Everyday; Plant Fruit and Veg in your Lunchbox; Limit ‘Sometimes’ Foods; Move, Play and Go; Turn off, Switch to Play; and Stride and Ride.

As part of the bi-annual renewal process LGT services are required to provide evidence as to how they meet each of the seven award criteria. We must provide a number of policies relating to the health, nutrition and physical activity for children for review as well as the submission of our menus which are assessed by MWEW dieticians based on the national Australian Dietary Guidelines.

LGT is a member of the Cancer Council Tasmania SunSmart Early Childhood Program. This is also a bi-annual renewal process where all services completed a Partnership Agreement, and our Sun Awareness Policy was required to be submitted for review and approval by Cancer Council Tasmania. As SunSmart services we agree to encourage measures to protect our staff and children from the harmful effects of over exposure to ultraviolet radiation.

Mel Byrne – Education and Care Compliance Manager

Education and Care Services (North)

It was the end of an era when the doors closed for the last time at the historical building on Frederick Street, which provided decades of early learning to children across Launceston. However, the new Northern Head Office in Wellington Street brings the Inclusion Team, OSHC Managers, OSHC Admin and Regional Manager, together in one building, providing an inclusive space for learning and collaboration. Wellington Street also has a large training room, that provides opportunities for many to share their knowledge of learning and training. Gowrie Training and Consultancy hosts their Northern trainee classes in this space, providing quality training for all service providers across the North.

We welcomed many new educators to the OSHC and LDC services as our request for education and care has increased in the communities across the North. Alanvale continues to work in partnership with the Department of Education’s Working Together program, providing education and wrap-around support for 8 children and their families who have not previously accessed an education and care program. University North, Swansea, Oatlands and Gordon Square will join the program in 2024 and training and collaboration have been a focus for Service Managers from the beginning of the year.

Services Managers have been busy supporting and driving collaborative projects with their teams throughout the year. These projects provide children, educators and community members opportunities to come together and document children’s play and learning through floor books, slideshow presentations and artifacts made by children. These project choices consisted of Nature Play, Educator Wellbeing, Connection to Country and Conceptual Play World. Service Managers were then given the opportunity to showcase their services learning by presenting at the Managers Connection Day in Hobart.

Lynette Mason – Acting Education and Care Regional Manager (North)


Education and Care Services (South)

The 2022-23 financial year has been a successful year within the Southern Long Day Care services filled with connection, professional learning, and growth.

A connection was made between Gowrie Queensland and Gowrie Tasmania allowing for professional exchanges to happen and an intense two-day professional development was held in late 2022 in Tasmania and mid-2023 in Queensland, with a focus on leadership and leading diverse teams. Ongoing sessions for small group and whole group collaborative learning continued online throughout the exchange. This was an extraordinary opportunity for Service Managers to experience professional growth, whilst developing connections with Service Managers from Queensland.

Several Service Managers were also given the opportunity to attend the Early Childhood Australia Conference in Canberra in October 2022. Several days of co-current sessions allowed for a vast range of topics to be covered and the sharing of inspiring ways of being, learning and growing. The current Australian of the Year, Dylan Alcott, was just one of the amazing guest speakers who challenged thinking and provoked many discussions upon returning to services.

Construction commenced at our new Penna Road Education and Care Service in Midway Point and it was exciting to witness the service starting to take shape. A dedicated team led by Midway Point Service Manager, Jodie Hayes, worked together to ensure all decisions were made with children at the forefront of our minds. We worked collaboratively to ensure that the service would engage, challenge, and spark children’s sense of curiosity, wonder, and investigation.

Within our Education and Care Services, Kingston, Fahan, and Richmond completed their Assessment and Rating with all achieving a rating of ‘Meeting’. University South and Kingston services were successful in securing funding through the ECU Minor Infrastructure Grants with University South competing upgrades to the bathroom space in the Churchill Room and Kingston installing a shade sail within the main play space.

Our Leadership Team also increased with the appointment of Assistant Managers within several of our services. These positions see the Assistant Managers working alongside the Service Manager and providing support with the practice, pedagogy, compliance and day-to-day running of each service.

Miffy Wedd – Education and Care Regional Manager (South)

Outside School Hours Care (North and South)

It has been a very exciting and productive 12 months in the Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) space with so many wonderful achievements to share. 

In February of this year, we saw the introduction of two new Before School Care programs offered in the South at South Hobart and Sorell Primary Schools. In the North, we were fortune enough to open a brand-new OSHC Service at Punchbowl Primary School. We were happy to work in partnership with the schools to help support the needs of the school communities. 

In June of this year, a new role was established in Regional Manager of OSHC overseeing all Lady Gowrie Tasmania OSHC services in northern and southern Tasmania. This role supports the implementation of all aspects of education and care in the OSHC space to ensure the best possible outcomes for children. 

Our OSHC services continued connecting children with their community, one being the Intergenerational Program developed by Brighton OSHC and the residents at St Ann’s nursing home in Old Beach. Both the children and residents look forward to their weekly visits where they come together and play games, dance and engage in art and craft experiences. The children and team at Brighton OSHC are very proud of the connections that they have made with the residents. In the North, the OSHC services have built a strong connection with Geoff, a Tasmanian Aboriginal community member. The services had the privilege of Geoff sharing and teaching the children about his own cultural history. One of the experiences that the children have engaged in, with Geoff’s guidance, was making remembrance wreaths and then letting them go in the Gorge as a way of recognising the elders who have passed away. 

The year saw only one Assessment and Rating visit in the OSHC space. University North received a rating of ‘Meeting’ in March 2023.

Kellie Guard – Outside School Hours Care Regional Manager



In the 2022-23 financial year, Educators in our Lady Gowrie Tasmania (LGT) Family Day Care (FDC) service continued to offer high quality education and care to children and families across the greater Hobart region. LGT FDC staff worked closely with Educators to support and promote their diverse program offerings including Montessori based programs, nature play and risky play and worked collaboratively with Educators on the routines and rituals of being a small business owner.  In early 2023, it was determined that with the increasing burden of risk and compliance in the FDC sector, LGT did not have the resources that the larger FDC registered service providers had in order to adequately support FDC educators in providing the best education and care outcomes for children and their families. The remainder of the first half of 2023 was committed to supporting families and Educators to transition to new providers as smoothly as possible. Thank you to each Educator who was registered with LGT FDC program for their commitment to providing high-quality home-based education and care options to the families of Hobart and wish them continued success with their new providers.