A unique, collaborative early years network for Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) professionals in the Bundamba region to support each other via training opportunities, information and data sharing, and practice support. By working in partnership we hope to develop and implement strategies within the community, (whilst extending and supporting existing effective ones), to improve children’s readiness for school, regardless of which school they attend.
Specifically, we do this by bringing together government, non-government, community groups, and community members to work collaboratively to promote and enhance the health and wellbeing of 0–5 years, and their families, in a holistic, child-centred approach. This approach is guided by the four principles outlined in the Department of Education’s ‘Supporting Successful Transitions: School Decision-Making Tool’; knowing children and families, showing leadership, trusting partnerships, and from evidence to action.
We see the long term benefits of providing best practice training opportunities for programs and approaches such as Abecedarian Approach Australia (3a), Read It Again – KindergartenQ!, and Therapeutic Crisis Intervention for Families (TCI-F). The local ECEC sector and community, using similar strategies and language, will result in a collective impact, directly benefiting children’s wellbeing, improving school readiness, and providing a seamless transition to whichever school they attend. To achieve this, the sector requires opportunities to engage in the above listed training, but also support to implement the programs and strategies they are trained in, especially when it comes to involving our families with these strategies.
The secondary benefits we see of a collective impact approach, include parent/caregiver upskilling, professional capacity building, data and information sharing, increasing accessibility to services and formal education entities (kindy, school) for families, efficient and supported referral pathways, increased cultural inclusion, to name but a few.
We believe that supporting universal school readiness, requires a commitment to supporting the ECEC community, because supporting young people has proven lifelong benefits.