Table of Contents
Mission, Vision & Values
We have a vision of a community where children grow, thrive and reach their full potential.
To develop the capacity of the early childhood education and care sector, families and the community to support children’s wellbeing, learning and development.
We are honest, trustworthy and accountable. We take responsibility for our actions. We do the right thing each time we face a difficult decision. We learn from our mistakes.
We treat each person as we expect to be treated. We value diversity. We communicate openly, uphold professional boundaries, maintain relationships and keep confidentiality. We look after our shared resources and property.
We acknowledge and celebrate the efforts and achievements of our staff.
We work together on common goals and look for opportunities to work collaboratively and in partnership with others. We appreciate the value of multiple perspectives and diverse expertise.
We are determined and complete what we set out to do. We follow through on decisions and promises – we do what we say.
We look for the best solution. We think outside the box and challenge ourselves to do things differently. We take responsible risks and continuously improve our services and practices.
About Child Australia
Child Inclusive Learning and Development Australia (Child Australia) is a leading not-for-profit organisation dedicated to improving outcomes for children. We aim to achieve this through professional education, the provision of early and middle childhood services, community and family supports, and sector advocacy.
As an organisation at the forefront of supporting early and middle years’ development, we actively pursue opportunities to collaborate with other agencies in the provision of early and middle childhood programs, research, and services across Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
Our extensive on-ground presence is reflected in our diverse portfolio of programs which span metropolitan, regional and remote locations and include;
Early Learning Centres
Out of School Hours Care
Mobile Children’s Service
This broad reach has enabled us to grow into an organisation known for leading the way in early and middle years’ development and supporting educators and families. With humble beginnings in 1987 (known then as the Resource Unit for Children with Special Needs or RUCSN) with an original objective to include children with disabilities into child care services, we have grown significantly to now offer a wide range of programs and services to improve outcomes for all children. In November 2008, the expansion and evolution of our programs and services led to our name change to Child Inclusive Learning and Development Australia (Child Australia).
With a highly skilled workforce, our practice is guided by evidence based research from contemporary early and middle childhood education and care thinkers. By providing innovative professional development and supports to the sector, we aim to facilitate the development of nurturing and stimulating early and middle childhood learning environments and support families in helping their children thrive.
Child Australia advocates for every child to have the chance to reach their full potential, understanding the correlation between quality programs and services and the achievement of positive long term outcomes for children, families and the broader community.
Message from our Chairperson & CEO
2017-18 has been a year of significant renewal and transformation at Child Australia.
Our mission is to develop the capacity of the early childhood education and care sector, families and the community to support children’s well-being, learning and development.
Given the changing landscape of the children’s services and not-for-profit sector, we have reframed our approach to find new ways to deliver on our mission and ensure long term organisational sustainability. We have done this by improving the quality and efficiency of our services, introducing innovative and flexible work practices, and making sure that all the things we do are aligned with our core values.
This 12-month journey of redefining and adopting an inside-out approach has enabled us to be introspective and develop a culture of authentic leadership and connection. This positive disruption has allowed the organisation to shift internal perspective while continuing to ensure that we deliver the highest of quality programs and services to children, their families and the communities that we work in, throughout Western Australia and the Northern Territory.
As many would be aware, in 2016/17 the Commonwealth Government made significant reforms to the way it funded support for the children’s services sector. This impacted significantly on Child Australia, and 2017-18 saw Child Australia move from a depletion of our financial reserves of $700k from the previous financial year to return a small consolidated profit of $18k this year – a significant achievement! Our organisational resilience and financial stability has positioned us well to take advantage of growth opportunities in the future.
Our success over the last financial year has been largely attributed to not only reshaping our internal world, but also in developing, nurturing and working in a genuinely collaborative manner with several strategic partners. Our partnerships enable us to think well beyond our own impact, as collectively we aim to improve developmental outcomes for children.
The focus for the next 12 months at Child Australia is for continuous improvement and growth. We have nurtured a culture of ideas, innovation, and leadership, and this has seen shifts in the way we work. From increased engagement of Early to Middle Childhood programs on school sites through to higher demand for professional development opportunities to the sector, the organisation is building from strength to strength and fast becoming the recognised leader in provision of childhood development services throughout WA and NT.
Socrates said that “the secret to change is to focus all your energy not on fighting for the old but on building the new”. For Child Australia the environment that we operate in has changed and we have changed within it. We look forward to a bright future filled with more opportunities that will allow us to provide better support to more children, families and communities.
Finally, and most importantly, we would like to acknowledge the fantastic people that work for Child Australia. They deliver our mission and live our values every day. Their selfless commitment to children, families, and communities, makes us so very proud. Thank you to each of you.
Chief Executive Officer
Our Governing Board
Our Impact 2018
Annual Key Achievements
The 2017/18 period was challenging following the conclusion of the Long Day Care Professional Development Program (LDCPDP) which ended with services requiring to access their own funds for ongoing professional development. With the expected lull towards the end of 2017, our team saw a spike in enquiry during early 2018 with a trend of services looking at impending Assessment and Rating visits as the new National Quality Framework was to be implemented in February 2018. The refocus of authorities on the Family Day Care sector also found growing support requests for compliance and operational support to meet the quality standards.
Our approach during the LDCPDP program to support services through a project based plan found us well positioned for quality driven services. Many over the year have chosen us as the preferred supplier for on-floor coaching and customised in-service workshop deliveries over the traditionally preferred transactional public event workshop format.
“First of all WOW! Casey presented the workshop perfectly. She was real about what happens in OSHC, she was experienced, full of knowledge and super organised. She left us all so inspired that I even had educators sending me Pinterest ideas late last night. The workshop was just what we needed to remind us of how important our job is and to critically reflect on our current practices.”
Bianca Stante – Director – Stratton Out of School Care (WA)
Our approach has helped us identify a wider need in the sector like that of intense support to Educational Leaders. This a two-day intensive program kicked off in 2017. This has proved highly popular with every session over the year all fully booked, and over 120 people have attended in Darwin, Albany and Perth thanks to word of mouth and a well-grounded practical tools resource kit.
This ongoing nature of work provides us the best opportunities to match theoretical concepts and ideas to practices. With an embedded relationship we are more aptly positioned to advise and troubleshoot the underlying barriers to quality. We are able to better identify the best methods of support bringing a genuine and solid commitment to quality improvement to the whole staff team.
“The role Zoe provides could be seen as that of Pedagogista; she cultivates an atmosphere of reciprocal respect and support for educators and in many ways commences her work as story sharer co-constructing an image of the child as well as a belief in the centres strengths.
She works closely with educators and services to identify their strengths and through shared dialogue identifies areas for quality improvement. She uses her extensive experiences and knowledge to support services embrace their challenges, promotes the services autonomy through collaborative practices rather than solve problems on their behalf.”
Fiona Warburton – Wulagi Preschool (NT)
Accredited Training NT has progressed through 2018 as we have embarked on a rich learning journey with 10 Diploma of Early Childhood education and care students and 11 Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and care students. Two of whom have recently completed with an eager plan to progress to Diploma in 2019. Our face to face delivery has had wonderful feedback as students have found themselves connected with their study peers sharing stories and knowledge in class improving their enjoyment, motivation and ultimate success rate towards course completion.
As our team grows and our partnerships in the community strengthen, we look forward to 2019 being a busy and full year engaging with services around the NT. We are confident in our high-quality method of delivery, resources and commitment to professional development. Child Australia Accredited Training aims to match this year’s cohort of students with a holistic learning and development approach for each student, we are strong in our focus on putting theory into practice. As trainers we support our students by ensuring consistent ongoing communication and regularly observe each student in the workplace to assist in supporting them to implement their knowledge in to practice within their service, this enables our students to grow and be confident in their job roles ‘enriching children’s lives’
Recognising the “sticker shock” experienced by providers following the end of the LDCPDP, Child Australia developed PD4U, a range of payment plan based support options. Service providers pay a small weekly amount to be used to plan regular support to maintain quality practices. This has proved successful to engage services with small expenditure to commit to ongoing support, become familiar with our approach and allow us to prove the value of customised support. These engaged services are able to change the plan in consultation with their lead consultant dependant on their developing needs which has further deepened our relationships while also getting the most out of their ongoing investment.
Focus on Children’s Mental Health
The continued growing demand for support to assist educators with challenging behaviours and the impact of trauma with a number of incidents in the media particularly with bullying and suicide. To continue our vision of better outcomes for children we hosted two events in the year.
Behaviour – Practitioner Masterclass and Parent Event with Dr Kaylene Henderson
Child Australia was proud to bring Dr Kaylene Henderson to Perth in August of 2017. The masterclass was a huge success with over 120 sector professionals, from all areas of children’s learning and development, attending the 3-hour masterclass.
It was a milestone event as we had early childhood educators, teachers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists and doctors all in the same place to learn about Dr Henderson’s common sense approach to behaviours which she aptly describes as; “align with the child and face the problem together rather than believing the child is the problem”.
Following the masterclass was an evening event which had over 280 parents and carers come together as Child Australia and PlaygroupWA hosted Dr Henderson again while she shared how parents can make a real difference to children’s mental health.
The event was also promoted with a free live social media video interview feed with Dr Henderson which reached over 17,000 people.
“Love these parenting seminars to deal with the kids positively. Would love more of them, dealing with kids in different age brackets, gender, etc. There is a lot of literature out there about parenting but this gives an opportunity to learn and ask questions from an expert rather than following something on the web and doubting the delivery/outcome.”
Emily – Parent (WA)
“You were terrific and as an OT very new to the Paediatrics, I found this incredibly insightful and useful as I previously did not feel confident managing children who became upset!”
Tom – Occupational Therapist (WA)
Social Wellbeing – Practitioner Masterclass and Parent Event with Claire Orange
We were proud to have our resident parenting expert, Clare Orange deliver a masterclass to over 50 sector professionals on supporting children’s’ wellbeing particularly in developing relationships with peers and dealing with bullying.
Claire explained how important it was to prepare children to cope, by equipping them with emotional intelligence to confidently communicate their emotions which helps develop a social shield in becoming more assertive in tough situations.
Over 100 people attended the evening Parent Event which was supported by PlaygroupWA. While she shared how parents can support children’s mental health in a proactive way, through supporting children’s developing friendships as well as their overall social and emotional wellbeing.
“It was an excellent presentation, using memorable tools to aid the learning. I enjoyed the humour and relaxed nature of Claire’s delivery.”
Gail D (WA)
Road to Excellence Tours WA – October 2017 and March 2018
Over the years we have formed a niche event which grows in demand every year. Our bus tours of exceeding centres in WA continue to be highly popular with the event sold out in only a few days. We now have a long waitlist of attendees’ eager for the next one and also provide private party bus tours.
We take this opportunity to thank the services whom freely open their doors and share their own journey to excellence to help the sector better develop the definition of “Exceeding” through professional reflection from the wonderfully organic grounds in the hills of Pachamama to the long established CBD service, Citiplace located next to Perth train station we were able to appreciate that excellence is found in practices not just the environment we can see.
In October 2017 we were fortunate to visit;
Pachamama Early Education & Childcare
Holy Name Early Learning and Care Centre
Citiplace Child Care Centre
Marjorie Mann Lawley Daycare Centre
March 2018, we toured;
Cloverdale Child Care Centre
Goodstart Early Learning Huntingdale
Sonas Early Learning and Care Huntingdale
MercyCare Thornlie Early Learning Centre
2017 Little People Big Dreams Conference
Child Australia, in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, proudly delivered the 2017 Northern Territory Children’s Learning and Development Conference, better known as the ‘Little People, Big Dreams’ over two days, 6 & 7 October 2017.
The conference provided a range of national and local presentations that highlighted innovation, the latest research and best practice, and opportunities to interact with colleagues from across the NT.
This Conference is the largest gathering in the Northern Territory of thought leaders, educators, teachers, academics, health professionals, policy makers, and other critically important practitioners and contributors in childhood learning & development.
From newcomers to the field, to experienced professionals, this Conference was a great opportunity to help advance our shared work on behalf of children during their most critical period of learning and development.
The Little People Big Dreams 2017 Children’s Learning and Development Conference was opened by Minister for Children, Eva Lawler MLA.
Themes for the conference included:
Health & Wellbeing
Curriculum & Pedagogy
Professor Frank Oberklaid, OAM, MD, FRACP, DCH, Foundation Director, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children’s Hospital (Melbourne)
Keynote presentation: Children’s Health, Learning and Development: Laying the Foundations
Professor Alison Elliott, Deputy Dean Learning and Teaching, CQ University Australia
Keynote Presentation: Systems in Early Childhood
Associate Professor Lennie Barblett, Associate School of Education, Edith Cowan University – sponsored by Territory Child Care Group
Keynote Presentation: The role of practitioners in children’s learning and development
Matthew Roberts, MBBS, MP, FRANZCP, Psychiatrist and Fatherhood Clinical Specialist, Mercy Health O’Connell Family Centre (Canterbury)
Keynote Presentation: Clinical Lessons from the First Classroom
“I found Lennie Barblett the most dynamic and interesting presentation.”
“I love when you are given information that you can take back to the classroom in a practical way.”
“Discussions about iSTEM was an excellent one. I learned so much from this.”
“The keynotes speakers and panel discussions…so relevant.”
” I liked that you could choose from a variety of workshops and there were voices from local and interstate speakers”.
“The networking opportunities were good and being able to engage with the speakers and each other was beneficial to me.”
“Getting to meet and chat with so many like-minded people was fantastic.
2017 NT Education and Care Awards Coordinators
Child Australia were successfully awarded the role of Coordinator for the 2017 NT Education and Care Awards, hosted by the Northern Territory Government. This prestigious event held at Parliament House and was well attended with over 100 delegates joining us from across the sector.
The Northern Territory Education and Care Awards promote outstanding achievement across the early childhood and school age education and care sector in the Northern Territory. These awards give recognition to educators and services in education and care settings that are innovative in their approaches and demonstrate exceptional commitment to ensuring quality outcomes for children and their families.
Strategic Partnerships NT
In the last 12 months Child Australia’s footprint has expanded and established itself via key connections and partnerships across Northern Territory Government, Australian Government and like minded not-for-profit organisations. Child Australia is recognised as much more than a service provider but also represents the go-to voice in the sector for education and care, accredited training, and professional learning and support. This is largely due to the changing shape of our organisation in demonstrating responsiveness and agility.
We developed relationships with the key NGO’s in the community, youth and indigenous sectors (Save the Children, Mission Australia and became an embedded member in the Tripartite forum which was setup as NT’s response to the Royal Commission). Child Australia is currently working with the Forum advisers as they identify placed based Children and Family Centres in remote NT.
Child Australia was represented at various Leadership Groups for Collective Impact – Bagot Deadly 20, And Palmerston Grow Well Live Well (GWLW). GWLW is in the mature stages of implementation and was successful in seeking funding to operate as the secretariat. Child Australia is a member of the Leadership Group and the Action Groups which provides opportunity for access into service delivery
In 2017/18 Child Australia was embedded in the strategic level discussions with Northern Territory Government in relation to their 10 year child development strategy “Starting Early for a Better Future” and cross portfolio projects such as the Tripartite Forum lead by the Reform Management Office, Safe thriving and connected.
Our work on Bagot community was the point of focus during the year and the subject of important strategic visits with Prime Minister and Cabinet and local MP’s. The key message from all of these visits was that the incredible impact that Child Australia makes by being such a positive organisation within the community championing change for good. Child Australia holds a unique position in that it is involved and listened to, its service delivery model represents a microcosm of the placed based system of community involvement that the NT Government is promoting as the indigenous social education and care model.
The focus for 2019 is to continue building, developing and nurturing our collaborative partnerships to help deliver on our mission and improve developmental outcomes for children.
GTNT (Group Training Northern Territory)
GTNT is a not for profit registered training organisation providing nationally recognised accredited training. GTNT has grown to be the largest employer of Apprentices and Trainees in the Northern Territory.
Child Australia and GTNT established a working partnership last financial year and this has delivered immense gains particularly in contributing towards quality workforce development in the education and care sector.
This successful alignment has seen Child Australia deliver the Certificate III and Diploma in Early Childhood Education Services and the demand for Accredited Training continues to grow.
Collective Impact Advisory Groups
Connecting Community for Kids Initiative (Cockburn and Kwinana) – WA Child Australia auspices the backbone of this initiative which is funded through the Woodside Development and is directed at improving early childhood development outcomes in the Cockburn and Kwinana local government areas of Western Australia. https://www.connecting4kids.com.au/
Grow Well Live Well (Palmerston) – NT continued to make inroads into the Palmerston community service provision agenda and Child Australia being a major player is well positioned to contribute towards the project goals. Particularly as the population base is growing in the Palmerston and outer Darwin areas attracting young families seeking education and care options.
Deadly20 (Bagot Reserve) – NT is continuing to oversee the social services agenda within the Bagot community. This year saw the formation of the community safety program, which Bagot OSHC contributed toward and immersed into existing practices.
Connected Beginnings (Central Australia) – NT aims to help Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in areas of high need be well prepared for school by supporting Indigenous pregnant women, and Indigenous children from birth to school age. Over time it is anticipated the program will contribute to reducing the difference in school readiness and education outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. In Alice Springs this initiative is in its early stages of implementation and Child Australia has become involved with this project to contribute towards greater outcomes for the children and families of Alice Springs.
The past year saw frameworks developed to bring the collective impact model to a further level of sophistication heading into 2019 where it will be a platform to align with the Northern Territory Government’s early childhood policy.
Children, Families and Community
HIPPY Hedland (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters)
HIPPY Hedland is a voluntary home-based enrichment program that fosters a fun learning environment, promoting a positive smooth transition to school. The two-year program is funded by the Australian Government and delivered by local providers to capacity builds the skills of parents and carers of children.
HIPPY facilitates the nurturing of strong relationships with families, children and community and empowers families in their role as their child’s first educator. HIPPY focuses on the development of school readiness with an emphasis on pre-numeracy and pre-literacy experiences, concentration and listening with the intent of improving better educational outcomes for children The program is facilitated by the coordinator and tutors, through home visits and group meetings, and encourages families to consider the learning environment utilising the supplied educational tools for embracing and aiding the concept of ‘Everywhere Learning’.
This year HIPPY Australia celebrates 20 years. We celebrated with a Birthday party at one of the local parks. The children enjoyed fruit, cake and a range of activities including a handprint painting on canvases to make a beautiful display for the Child Australia Office in South Hedland.
One of our greatest successes this year has been the ability to promote within. The program employs parents completing the program with their child to tutor the other parents in the program.
HIPPY Hedland commenced the first cohort in 2016 and employed the first tutors for a 2-year contract. Upon completing the 2 years a tutor has been provided with upskilling via the tutor training funds and professional development through the P2P (Pathways to possibilities) program, therefore has the ability to seek further employment opportunities once their child had commenced fulltime school. With a sudden change in Coordinator in 2018 HIPPY Hedland was able to promote a tutor to Coordinator because of the level of upskilling achieved during this time.
We have been able to collect amazing evidence of outcomes some of this evidence includes: that a child who suffered so much trauma in the first couple of years of her life and was placed into foster care speaking no English whatsoever is grasping the concept tall and small.
In 2018 Bella’s foster carer signed her up for the HIPPY program in Hedland. While supervising a delivery, The Coordinator read a book from one of our HIPPY packs with Bella. The book was called Tall and Small. Throughout the book it compares animals such as giraffes and ants. After completing the book Bella grabbed a piece of paper and a pencil, Bella started to draw lines down the page. When the Coordinator asked Bella what she was drawing she started pointing to each line saying Tall, Small and Tall.
HIPPY Hedland will be graduating their 2017 cohort in November and already have a large amount of interest for 2019 cohort with various referrals from various programs within the community.
HIPPY has allowed me to have the knowledge of what my son is learning at school and extend his learning at home. The HIPPY program has connected me to other HIPPY parents, who have children with similar speech issues as my child. I now have someone I can call and ask questions and have given me a lot of advice on who to speak to about referrals.
HIPPY has allowed me to have the knowledge of what my son is learning at school and extend his learning at home.
The HIPPY program has connected me to other HIPPY parents, who have children with similar speech issues as my child. I now have someone I can call and ask questions and have given me a lot of advice on who to speak to about referrals.
HIPPY Geraldton (Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters)
“Create a playful, age appropriate and curious learning environment at home that includes early numeracy and literacy opportunities” is the advice given to parents of young children to prepare them for school. This can be so overwhelming and challenging particularly when the parent might be isolated, time poor, culturally and linguistically diverse, lacking resources or just unsure as to what to do and how to go about creating a love of learning and school readiness with their child.
HIPPY provides an outstanding solution for families who recognise the importance of the early years, the strength of a complimentary home and school learning environment and who would like support to be their child’s first teacher to give their child the strongest and most successful start to school.
Twenty four Geraldton families have completed the first year of the two year program using new resources released this year.
Families received thirty packs throughout the year via alternating home visits and group meetings at our local Child and Parent Centre. The packs are colourful, informative, sequential and well balanced to cater for all learning styles. Parents are shown the Early Years Learning Framework and the HIPPY curriculum framework to see the intention behind each activity and the importance of balance and catering for a wide variety of learning opportunities.
HIPPY tutors use roleplay and peer to peer sharing to develop skills parents have then used when interacting and playing with their child and teaching school readiness concepts.
Our wonderful tutor team : Blanche, Nicole, Marrika, Yasmin, and Frederiek have worked so passionately to prepare each pack and to ensure they have thoroughly understood the intention behind each activity and cater activity packs for individual families.
Our tutors’ calendar year was packed with professional learning opportunities with our Age 5 tutors completing Certificate 111 and 1V in Education Support / Business and Finance. Our Age 4 team have completed learning in Self Regulation, Senior First Aid, Cultural Competence, Writing a Resume and Bringing Up Great Kids. Exposure to fabulous HIPPY resources in preparing for the workforce were welcomed alongside lots of comraderie, story sharing and laughter.
This year HIPPY Geraldton was asked to speak at the National Gathering about key elements to engage participants in meeting as a group. Our group meetings have proven to be a favoured way for parents to learn with others, make new friends, share experiences and learn from invited community services who offer enriching q/a opportunities for parents whilst their little ones are happily playing. Also not forgetting a delicious morning tea to share!
With twenty four HIPPY Geraldton families celebrating the end of their two year HIPPY journey, the HIPPY Geraldton team are continuing to make strong multicultural community networks. This ensures the Geraldton community will be well represented in the new cohort for 2019. We can’t wait!
Doing HIPPY with Shakeel this year has been fantastic. We both have really enjoyed it. As a mum, seeing his growth with HIPPY has been amazing. By doing the activities with him I can see what he needs help with or what challenges him as well as his strengths. I love how HIPPY coincides with some of the things he is doing at school and I can always extend on that. I think by doing HIPPY it has made our bond stronger and spending the one on one time with him is so valuable. I love seeing the joy he gets out of it as well as all the different learning areas that he has accomplished and with me being able to help and teach him along the way. To me it is time well spent. We love making memories together. We are really enjoying HIPPY as there are so many fun activities that Jaxon and I can complete at home. As soon as our pack is delivered, Jaxon is sitting up at the table ready to get started. Brilliant program, what a great learning experience. With one on one time with my daughter it has been wonderful not only for just being her mum but also being her first teacher. Was a great bonding experience and would recommend to all. Being a HIPPY tutor has been an amazing opportunity for me. I not only get to be my child’s first teacher but also help other parents on their HIPPY journey. The training helps me have an understanding of what my child is learning at school and why things are being done. It’s a privilege to be able to share this with my HIPPY families. It never feels like work, just a chance to help other parents and I can honestly say I love doing this work.
Doing HIPPY with Shakeel this year has been fantastic. We both have really enjoyed it. As a mum, seeing his growth with HIPPY has been amazing. By doing the activities with him I can see what he needs help with or what challenges him as well as his strengths. I love how HIPPY coincides with some of the things he is doing at school and I can always extend on that. I think by doing HIPPY it has made our bond stronger and spending the one on one time with him is so valuable. I love seeing the joy he gets out of it as well as all the different learning areas that he has accomplished and with me being able to help and teach him along the way. To me it is time well spent. We love making memories together.
We are really enjoying HIPPY as there are so many fun activities that Jaxon and I can complete at home. As soon as our pack is delivered, Jaxon is sitting up at the table ready to get started.
Brilliant program, what a great learning experience. With one on one time with my daughter it has been wonderful not only for just being her mum but also being her first teacher. Was a great bonding experience and would recommend to all.
Being a HIPPY tutor has been an amazing opportunity for me. I not only get to be my child’s first teacher but also help other parents on their HIPPY journey. The training helps me have an understanding of what my child is learning at school and why things are being done. It’s a privilege to be able to share this with my HIPPY families. It never feels like work, just a chance to help other parents and I can honestly say I love doing this work.
Larapinta Early Learning Centre
Larapinta ELC is a 70 place Education and Care Service nestled at the bottom of the West McDonnell Ranges in Alice Springs. We celebrated Larapinta’s first birthday in April, 2018
Our Environments are viewed as the third teacher, both indoors and outdoors. Children have access to many natural materials and resources in the environment invite participation, curiosity, wondering and learning. Play based learning experiences are set up both inside and outside and are open-ended, allowing the children to enter and exit within their ability and interest of their own learning. Our Educations plan and implement an interactive learning environment where each child’s learning and development are maximised through our quality play based curriculum based on the Early Years Learning Framework. The Centre provides a range of active and restful experiences throughout the day to support children’s individual requirements for health, nutrition, seep, rest and relaxation. Home routines are followed as much as possible to ensure that children feel safe and secure in our care.
Over the past year the staffing team has grown and has stabilized, become more qualified and we have introduced an Early Childhood Teacher to the team, with three additional Educators studying Bachelors in Early Childhood Education as well. Child Australia continues to support Educators who are studying their Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care through traineeships. Communication, participation and respect amongst educators is a high priority and educators collaboratively engage in ongoing discussion about their practices where all voices are encouraged and listened to.
Play based learning is presented in a way that promotes collaborative play, communication, risk taking, resilience and problem solving in both the indoor and outdoor environment. We support children to develop and grow self-help skills as educators develop respectful, reciprocal relationships with children. Educator’s model and support children to understand the feeling and rights of others and create a culture of inclusion. Relationships are built through interactions, interest based learning and also getting to know the family.
Larapinta ELC is located onsite with Larapinta Preschool, Larapinta Child and Family Centre and Larapinta Primary School. The ELC regularly communicates and collaborates with the CFC and Preschool, ensuring consistency for children, especially during transitions to Preschool or Primary School. Larapinta ELC has also developed links with several other services and support agencies in the local community.
Larapinta is a very diverse community with many cultures and languages. Our children come from a wide range of family structures, experiences, cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. In the coming year, Larapinta ELC is committed to becoming more culturally competent: developing positive attitudes towards cultural differences and gaining knowledge of different cultural practices and world views. We will also continue to embed sustainability in daily routines and practices where children and educators show a growing appreciation and care for natural and constructed environments.
Very pleased with the staff at Larapinta ELC. They each have a thorough understanding of what each child needs. Upon every pickup i have been nicely informed of how my child’s day has gone. Very pleased with our experience so far 🙂 We moved from interstate and upon my arrival and commencement of work I have always felt supported. From shortened hours for the first few months to help me and my family settle into our new life in Alice to taking ownership of the environment and being able to implement new ideas and routines, I have always felt a high level of support which has really helped me settle into the centre and feel a part of the team. As a parent, I feel happy in knowing that my child is left in the care of loving and caring educators who work hard to help my child be the best he can be. He calls Larapinta ELC his ‘home,’ telling me on the weekends that he “wants to go home and see his friend’s,” which really demonstrates the strong connection he has built to the service in the 10 months we have been here.
Very pleased with the staff at Larapinta ELC. They each have a thorough understanding of what each child needs. Upon every pickup i have been nicely informed of how my child’s day has gone. Very pleased with our experience so far 🙂
We moved from interstate and upon my arrival and commencement of work I have always felt supported. From shortened hours for the first few months to help me and my family settle into our new life in Alice to taking ownership of the environment and being able to implement new ideas and routines, I have always felt a high level of support which has really helped me settle into the centre and feel a part of the team. As a parent, I feel happy in knowing that my child is left in the care of loving and caring educators who work hard to help my child be the best he can be. He calls Larapinta ELC his ‘home,’ telling me on the weekends that he “wants to go home and see his friend’s,” which really demonstrates the strong connection he has built to the service in the 10 months we have been here.
The Child Australia Lockridge Campus includes and Exceeding rated Early Learning Centre and Outside School Hours Care Service. We provide Quality Education & Care for approximately 90 children attending daily aged 8 weeks to 12 years.
Formalised transition to school process
This saw the Director having a meeting with our local catholic Primary school (Good Shepherd) for the first time. The teacher was very interested in the report and supportive of future engagement in the process.
The Campus Coordinator met with the Lockridge Primary School kindy teacher and helped to build their new kindy space over the December school holiday period. During this time informal discussions were held around the transitioning children.
The relationship between the Campus and Lockridge Primary School has continued to develop strongly. Sadly the school Principal passed toward the middle of 2018 and the school has advertised for a new Principal. It will be a test of the developed bond to see if it can continue, in the light of a new Principal being appointed (and now – September … a new Deputy Principal too). The Campus Coordinator will ensure a meeting is set up between the Campus and the school as soon as possible.
Our Early Childhood Teacher/Educational Leader (Kelly) has coordinated a joint community sharing initiative with the Primary School. As of term three 2018, Lockridge Kindergarten students will visit the ELC once a month and participate in activities coordinated by our ELC Educators and then once a month out ELC students will walk to Lockridge Primary School (LPS) to participate in activities coordinated by school staff. It was discussed that LPS students will enjoy a sit down café lunch with us and the ELC children will sit down to a lunch yard picnic with LPS.
Assuming this works successfully, the aim is continue this on from term two 2019.
Australian Family – Australian Early Education and Care Awards 2018
We were very pleased to follow on from Kelly’s success as a state winner last year to have had three more nominations. Our nursery Senior Educator (Uma Maharaul) was nominated as Early Childhood Educator of the Year, our nursery Educator (Kaylia Payne) was nominated as Early Childhood Educator of the Year and our Campus Coordinator (Kelly Prussian) was nominated in the category of Director of the Year. Kaylia was successful in having her submission accelerated into the next round but for this year we have to be content with being nominated.
Staffing and professional development and growth at Lockridge Campus
The team at Lockridge are continually developing, with 97% of staff holding their Diploma of Early Childhood.
We said goodbye to our Director (Nadia Wilson-Ali). This meant a little reshuffling of job roles. Kelly Prussian has now become our Campus Educational Leader and Early Childhood Teacher whilst still retaining her position of Campus Coordinator.
We said good luck to Stephanie Low (Food Coordinator) as she again left us to go on maternity leave. (She had a healthy baby boy – Archibald). After some struggles, we hired a food coordinator to cover Stephanie, Vidya Poojary , who also came with a certificate III in Early Childhood Education.
We are looking to hire a new Director for the service. (Which we did – Casey Girdlestone. Casey came across from Head Office and has been welcomed into the service)
We are also excited to announce that our OSHC Coordinator (Rebecca Shaw) is expecting her first child in March 2019.
We also welcomed Pauline Hinkley into the team as a Senior Educator in the Kindy room.
This year we celebrated May Godinho, Kaylia Payne and Amanda Taylor’s sixth year here at the Lockridge Campus and Kelly Prussian’s 5th year.
Highlights of the opportunities presented to staff this year include:
- Director and Campus Coordinator attended the Little People, Big Dreams Conference in Darwin
- several staff engaged in STEM training
- All staff have First aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training – 100% coverage
- Understanding Behaviours
- Coordinator booked into Qikkids/CCS training
- Reconciliation in Action training
- Educational Leader Training for Educational Leader
Out in the Community:
- NAIDOC Activity in conjunction with City of Swan and Lockridge Community Garden
- Lockridge Primary School year 6 students driven to camp in Dwellingyup
- Reconciliation BBQ was cancelled due to very poor weather
- Children’s Week at Whiteman Park
- Altone Comes Alive 2018
- Partnership between ELC Kindy and Lockridge Kindy – visiting each other once a month this will greatly aid school readiness for our kindy children
Transition to CCS
All families at the Lockridge Campus transferred across from CCMS with little to no issues this was largely due to the amount of work Sara put in from the Approved Provider end. Additional Child Care Subsidy Payments (ACCS) payments have also run smoothly with amazing feedback for our commitment (and swift undertaking of the transition) from Department of Communities and Yorganop.
We continue to build relationships with Department of Communities, especially with the Midland Office, which is our local office. We have had 5 families in the past year placed at out centre through Department of Communities for the express purpose of ensuring the children remain visible in the community whilst the Department is working with the families. We will be continuing to ensure this relationship builds in the upcoming year.
Our Narragunnawali has been published by Reconciliation Australia and now we need to continue progressing towards our vision.
I also want to take the time to say thank you so much for all you do. My child absolutely adores you and you are spectacular at your chosen profession. I have never seen you in bad temper or without a smile. Your patience with the kids is outstanding. We couldn’t be happier with the advancements our children have made here, the staff bring joy to the place which the children cherish! Thank you. Thank you to all the wonderful staff for your care and support. As a working Mum, I couldn’t survive without you. We are extremely happy with the education, friendly staff and attention we receive when picking up and dropping off our son. He couldn’t be happier and neither could we. Thank you so much Kelly and Team.
I also want to take the time to say thank you so much for all you do. My child absolutely adores you and you are spectacular at your chosen profession. I have never seen you in bad temper or without a smile. Your patience with the kids is outstanding.
We couldn’t be happier with the advancements our children have made here, the staff bring joy to the place which the children cherish! Thank you.
Thank you to all the wonderful staff for your care and support. As a working Mum, I couldn’t survive without you.
We are extremely happy with the education, friendly staff and attention we receive when picking up and dropping off our son. He couldn’t be happier and neither could we. Thank you so much Kelly and Team.
Farrar Early Learning Centre
At Farrar ELC we believe that good physical, mental and emotional health is vital for learning and life. Over the past year we have been working on three innovative action research projects to improve outcomes linked to children’s health and wellbeing.
Early this year we engaged in research to find innovative ways to support the emotional development of children aged 2-3. In the process we examined a number of Primary Caregiving models, which helped us to develop our current care philosophy. Central to primary caregiving is shared loving and respectful care routines or ‘moments’ with the same educator to build secure attachments for the child. The benefits include reduced stress to both the child and family right from the start and support for a child to get through long days in childcare. We have observed improved positive feelings in children, who are happier to separate from family, better able to regulate their emotions, and confident to explore their environment. The improvements to children’s emotional wellbeing through secure attachments have directly benefitted the development of positive attitudes in children, such as resilience, persistence and independence. What has followed is an improved relationship with families and a better exchange of information to support the continuity of care between home and centre. With the positive outcomes of primary caregiving in the 2-3 year age group we are now looking at this approach as an improvement measure across the whole service.
Feed Australia Program
Another way we have been able to innovate to support good outcomes for children’s health and wellbeing is using the Feed Australia program. The program is designed to help us analyse and develop our menus to meet the nutritional requirements of the childcare setting. Applying this knowledge has led to an improvement in children’s nutrition at Farrar. We are very proud that all of our meals meet the 50% RDI for children in childcare. The Feed Australia program has not only helped us improve the quality of our food, it has helped us publish a recipe book so that children and families can benefit from cooking the meals at home. Making improvements to the nutritional value of children’s food directly benefits the development of positive health behaviours in children to promote a healthy lifestyle. Further innovation to curriculum was made with the implementation of progressive mealtimes to foster independence, children are more engaged in the social aspect of mealtimes, and take responsibility to serve their own food and participate in clean up.
Parent /Educator Information Sessions
A big driver for innovation at Farrar ELC is looking at new ways to support families in their role as parents. Offering Information Sessions for families and educators to attend together provides access to new information and the opportunity to develop common approaches to support children’s health and wellbeing. We have partnered with professionals from the Super GP Clinic we are co-located with in Palmerston such as, child health nurses and dieticians to co-host these sessions. Last year we held a session on Sleep and just recently one on Nutrition, both sessions were well attended and the information well received leading to improvements in children’s health and wellbeing both at home and the centre. Innovating in this way has directing benefitted our relationship with the Palmerston Super GP health professionals.
Loose Parts Theory
Over the past 2 years we have been on a journey at Farrar ELC to be innovative and creative when making improvements to our physical environment. The Loose Parts Theory, popular in the UK and US, has driven our research in this area. Our overall goal is to provide children with materials and spaces to play in that encourage curiosity, investigation and wonder. Becoming more sustainable in our decision-making we have replaced most of our plastic resources with loose parts and natural resources from local Darwin suppliers, and recyclables and household items donated from families and the Super GP Clinic. We have noticed that exposure to natural and authentic resources benefit children’s play enormously. Our children spend more time role-playing or engaging in imaginary play with each other, leading to improvements in the development of language, social skills and confidence. Improving our environments to incorporate the use of Loose Parts to experiment and create with sees our children mastering skills in all development domains with observable benefits to overall health and wellbeing.
As part of this journey to be innovative and make improvements to the physical environment we have transformed our outdoor space to support children to connect with nature and develop a love of the outdoors. Last year we held a working bee and our families helped us to complete 4 projects. A construction area, full of rocks, pipes, sand and diggers, for our little designers and builders. A whimsical nature play area with floating fabrics and musical chimes high in the trees to ignite imaginations. A mud kitchen to experiment and create gastronomical delights in. A garden to plant and nurture vegetables to eat, and flowers to decorate meal tables. Making these improvements with the help of families has directly benefitted our working partnership.
It is not enough to innovate with improvements to the physical space, if we are to truly innovate we need to also develop a rich play-based learning philosophy that promotes children’s learning and interaction within the physical space. We are currently experimenting with a variety of child-led play based learning philosophies to develop our own unique pedagogy that supports good outcomes for children in all areas including health and wellbeing.
Implementing three innovative projects over the year, (Primary Caregiving, Feed Australia Program and Parent/Educator Information Sessions and Loose Parts Theory) has delivered highly visible quality improvements to service delivery at Farrar ELC. The benefits to all stakeholders are of paramount importance in the design and implementation of such projects. We are very proud of our achievements and look forward to the ongoing process of innovating for continuous improvement.
In 2018 we were honoured to have the Chief Minister Michael Gunner visit Farrar ELC, it was a great opportunity for us to showcase our work and advocate for children and families in our community.
In 2018 our Trainee Tullalah Ormsby won School Based Trainee of the year award. The award recognises Tullalah’s excellence in her commitment towards her formal studies at school as well as in the workplace. Tullalah will now progress as a finalist for the Australian Training Awards and will compete at the national level.
In 2018 we have been selected as finalists for the Northern Territory Education and Care Awards in two categories. Emerging Educator: Alanna Kole, Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Practice: Farrar ELC.
Nightcliff Early Learning Centre
Our team is diverse and unique. We have educators from the Philippines, PNG, Torres Strait, Sudan, and Australia. Our ages range from 17 to 54, with an average age of 34—this is quite high for Darwin!
Northern Territory Education and Care Awards 2017:
3x individual educators shortlisted for Emerging and Outstanding Educator Awards.
Winner of Outstanding Achievement in Innovative Practice Award.
Where to next for Nightcliff ELC?
Our focus for the rest of the year will be to continue to build respectful partnerships with our families and trusting nurturing relationships with our children. From July till December we have 15 families on our waitlist, with 10 starting before October.
We want to continue on our journey of celebrating culture within our service and local community, as well as continue strengthening partnerships within the community of Child Australia as well as the broader Darwin community. We aim to commence an active research project alongside Juninga Aged Care as we bring together the young and old in some shared projects.
Our garden will be going through a transformation as we begin actively participating in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Project. We will be creating a sustainable garden and kitchen project with the children and aim to provide more opportunities for the children to participate in cooking experiences using our own produce and within the kitchen space with Michael our chef.
2018—A Year of Change
From March to June , Nightcliff ELC saw a 64% change in staffing, but our overall occupancy is the highest that it has been for over 12 months!
The Respectful Infant Edu-carer (RIE) approach by Magda Gerber continue to inspire and guide quality practices and principles within our Nursery and Toddler rooms.
I never imagined the role that our Child Australia childcare would develop into. It is much more than a childcare centre but rather a place where our daughter learns, grows, is nourished and cared for. I love nothing more than picking her up and sharing with the educators about all the wonderful and entertaining moments of the day.
Our son has recently started at Nightcliff ELC and from the moment we stepped through the door we have been so impressed. All the staff are so cheerful and engaging and ready to play which is just wonderful. They take time to know each child individually and respect them as little people in the world. The setting is magic with lovely spaces indoors and out to play and the staff are very happy to get stuck into messy play and exploring whether it be mud pies or gardening. The food cooked freshly by Michael is always delicious and the children all enjoy his meals. Overall I feel happy leaving our son here as I know he is going to have a great time and be looked after just as well as he would be with his own family. A nursery that is very much exceeding in all areas!
Nightcliff ELC has been such a wonderful child care choice for my son. Every time I drop him off we are both welcomed by friendly faces and I am so confident in the quality of care he gets. All the educators are so attentive to his needs and interests. And when I pick him up he is always engaged in a fun activity, has a big smile on his face and doesn’t want to leave!
Our 2 sons started at NCELC earlier in the year due to us moving to the area. The whole process, from intake to now has been really straightforward, and very welcoming. We know the names of all the educators, they’re a diverse group who communicate well, and clearly enjoy their roles.
The centre never seems frantic or chaotic. It’s either calm and welcoming, or excited and playful. It’s very noticeable, especially at drop-off time, in comparison with other centres we’ve been enrolled in. It really helped our kids as they settle into their new routines.
We’re really pleased with the whole experience, and would highly recommend the centre to other families.
My son LOVES going to “school” as we call it. He chooses it over days at home with me! I love how the children learn and social skills are developed. It feels like family rather than daycare and that means a lot to me!
I would like to say that a big part of our family’s happiness stems from feeling that my child is being looked after by a group of caring and knowledgeable people. In particular Meagan, Keisha, and Serema, are doing amazing things with Noah and Isla to get them comfortable and learn about new things. I can’t thank them enough!
Nightcliff Outside School Hours Care
Nightcliff OSHC is a program that caters for more than 70 families attending Nightcliff Primary School, with children from local schools joining our vacation care program in the school holidays.
Our OSHC believes in enabling children to think of OSHC as an extension to family and feeling welcome and comfortable in their environment. The team do this by supporting and extending children’s ideas and to providing children with the autonomy to take ownership of their spaces.
Our goals for the financial year end 2018 were the following:
- Continue to strengthen partnerships with our families and their involvement in our program
- To continue working towards a culture of continuous improvement.
Nightcliff OSHC are proud of achievements this year, some key highlights include; A strong Partnership with the School, a strong Collaboration with the Nightcliff Community Early Learning Centre, Our high quality team of educators supporting children’s learning and development, children and parents still welcome the need for our 2 separate spaces for the Juniors TR-yr2 and Seniors 3-6, Our implemented staffing practices have demonstrated a positive impact on children and family engagement, program delivery and staff wellbeing. We have seen a decrease in staff turnover again this year which we are proud of.
Nightcliff OSHC respects the family as the first teachers of our children we educate and care for- after all, no one knows the children better than their families, It is important to us that families are confident in our abilities and we encourage input and feedback that we use to plan and deliver our curriculum.
By placing the children at the heart of everything that we do, we have been able to change our approach to programming and planning our program which has resulted in increased engagement in family enrolment numbers and utilisation.
Working towards a culture of continuous improvement Our OSHC was rated as Meeting overall in all 7 Quality Areas. As a team we are very happy with this result and we are again now on our journey of continuous improvement from our A&R report, which has provided us with guidance as to what we are doing really well, and what we can look to improve. Feedback from families, visitors and the school community has noted the significant changes we have implemented over the past twelve months, and our strong and stable utilisation reflects this.
My son Ziggy has been attending the OSHC for almost a year now. From commencement, the Educators have always been so approachable and their efforts to connect with the children is second to none. Tanya the OSHC Supervisor, takes time to regularly engage with Parents and is always happy to personally help and provide advice. The centre’s diverse culture and holistic approach with the children has significantly benefited my son, who at times, demonstrates challenging behaviour. It is such a relief as a parent to be able to vest trust in a centre, safe in the knowledge that its educators ensure that not only the safety, but the well-being of the children is at the forefront of their decision making.
What I Like about OSHC – I love OSHC because when I play soccer everyday with my friends, and we do computers on a Monday. I love it when we have a question of the week as well.
We love OSHC because there are lots of nice educators and there is fun stuff like watching movies , feeding the worms , watering the plants , going to the computers and playing soccer outside and painting and lots more. We like how we get yummy food such as tuna pasta bake and chicken and apples and blueberries. We all respect one and other and we help each other. If we are hurt ourselves someone always helps. We love OSHC and OSHC loves us.
Nightcliff OSHC provides us with a fun, happy and safe space for our children. The Educators are very caring and adaptive to our needs as busy working Parents.
I love OSHC because it has cool toys, and I get to hang out with my friends!
OSHC is great! It’s enjoyable because it’s fun and we get to go to the library and watch movies, go on the computer for entertainment anyway and we get to do crafting and drawing and all types of stuff. OSHC stands for out of school hours care. We find a way to have a great day and the juniors and seniors have separate rooms.
Palmerston Early Learning Centre
Integrated Services going from strength to strength
2017 bought the second year of Young Mums are Strong Mums program, we continued to provide quality early learning and care with the majority of children being enrolled into the Service and then continuing care at the conclusion of the course as they saw the value of what was being provided.
We have started working closely with Leticha who is the Centre’s Indigenous Co-ordinator; through this partnership we will be creating a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) working party, combining both educators and Department of Education employees to create a centre wide RAP.
Furthermore, we will continue to utilize Leticha’s knowledge to bring Indigenous Culture into the Service in a respectful and meaningful way.
A group of our younger children have started attending Baby Play to Learn on a Wednesday morning which is run by Save the Children. We are also striving to attend more groups as numbers allow.
We continue to receive new enrolments into the Service from parents who attend the different weekly playgroups, and we have also had our parents join in Families as First Teachers (FaFT) which has helped strengthen relationships within the Centre.
Culture and Centre Diversity celebrated
2017 saw a joint NAIDOC celebration with Gray Family Centre. We invited a troupe of Torres Strait Islander dancers, Aunty June Mills to provide an indigenous story and puppet show, as well as Les Huddleston who taught us about the didgeridoo.
The event was opened to the community and Goodstart Nightcliff travelled over to join in the celebration.
In early 2018 we celebrated the Hindu Holi Festival which was led by our Indian educator Lalita who was excited to share her culture with us. The festival was a successful event which bought children and educators together in a fun and new way.
We look forward to further events in 2018 which reflect our community.
Staffing strengthens in numbers and qualifications
As our numbers grew, we introduced new educators to our team. We welcomed Ploy who is studying a Bachelor of Education, Aimee who is studying a Diploma, Louise who has her Certificate III. Johanna who has been with Palmerston since it opened completed her Advanced Diploma and Kelly who started studying her Certificate III transferred to the Diploma to advance her skills and knowledge.
Studying Certificate III = 2
Certificate III = 2
Studying Diploma = 2
Diploma = 4
Studying Bachelor = 2
Bachelor = 1
Continuing our strive for quality
As a team and service, we look to continually improve our practices and ensure they reflect our beliefs and values. We also look at growing our young educators and produce leaders.
Strengthening our social media output
Ensuring regular updates for our families and wider community to showcase the amazing things we do as it remains a selling point for new families and enrolling ones.
We are very grateful for the love, care and respect we feel our son Bohanan has been treated with during his long term care at PC & FELC. As a family we feel that the carers and staff at our centre have done a really wonderful job of educating not only Bohanan but all of the gorgeous children who attend. Through changes of staff and sickness that has effected many families, Management have always kept families informed and I think keeping us informed is the key to providing families with peace of mind. Our children are our life and to know that Bohanan is in such great hands gives us great comfort when we trudge off to work every day.
Every morning we were welcomed with a big smile and hello from your team! Especially the girls in Tarj’s room. I would receive great feedback of Tarj’s day and development on the daily, which really made me comfortable with the care given.
I was sent emails promptly by the director with updates of the room, centre or staff. As well as a great interactive foyer through entering into the centre. It was often a struggle to get my son to leave the centre as he enjoyed himself so much.
Viewing the menu and constantly receiving a ‘good morning’ from the cook made me confident in what my son was eating day to day also.
Though my biggest appreciation was the dedication to ‘primary care’. Having a point of contact every day with someone who knew the in’s and out’s of my sons needs was beyond comforting. You can tell there is some great leadership in the centre.
After I visited several day care centres in the area before I made Palmerston Child and Family Early Learning Centre our home I wasn’t impressed with the other childcares and the curriculum but when I came here I knew that they had a curriculum for infants up. I knew that it was clean, it smelt really great, the staff are very welcoming and just the knowledge that was given made me know that this would be that my son can call his childcare home. As both full-time working parents, leaving my twin girls in someone else’s care every morning is one of the hardest things I have to do especially when we have just relocated back to Darwin. My heart breaks just a little bit more each day, knowing I will miss so many precious moments with my son, while someone else will be there to witness so many of their “firsts”. It’s a feeling I’m sure I share with so many other parents. Thanks to the teachers and staff at Palmerston Child and Family Early Learning Centre, however, I can feel a little bit better about leaving my son every day because I know they are in the hands of caring professionals who cherish them (almost as much as we do) and seem to understand how much I must miss him every day. The director and teachers have been fantastic about keeping us up-to-date on the highlights of our sons days, sharing their funny moments and their latest achievements. From the moment we drop him off and pick him up there’s always a display of photos of activities that the children have done this brightens my day, make me laugh, and help me to feel that even though we’re apart. I’m so grateful to the staff at Palmerston Child and Family Early Learning Centre for helping us give my son such a great start in life, and for including us in the moments we would otherwise miss out on.
We have had 3 very productive and successful years working under the IAS funding model. We have developed community structures that work better and we have more meaningful engagement from a small group of key stakeholders, which we continue to grow. The road to change has at times been an uncomfortable one for the community, having to acknowledge systems that aren’t working and the consequences for those failed systems is a challenging reality, however, we are in a state of change. There is a willingness to drive this change now that we haven’t seen before. There have always been pockets of willingness but to get the majority of a community to think forward is a true success that we are proud to be a part of.
Bagot’s story is starting to take shape and with the right supports and consistent on the ground support we will see Bagot thrive and find its way to a sustainable future.
With community willingness taking shape in a more positive direction we are able to see many growth opportunities. Collective impact is working towards stabilizing the tenancy and facilitating community infrastructure upgrades.
Our Families for school attendance has continued to evolve and has found its way back to the original concept of this model being a family support model that engages families not only with the importance of attending school but also work on underlying issues that create those barriers to change, this includes extensive partnership work with Territory Families and Child Protection to support preventative measures for vulnerable families.
Our Walking Bus continues to play a critical role in supporting school attendance and has become a part of the daily fabric of the Bagot children’s school day.
Our Mums and Bubs group in conjunction with our family support model are planning to explore nutrition, health, and well being for their families.
We are committed to the continuation of employment of local Aboriginal staff for our programs. Child Australia has provided many employment opportunities for community members to engage in and for some this is their first formal employment experiences. We are also able to offer places to study a Certificate 3 and Diploma in Early Childhood Education through Child Australia`s RTO. The opportunities for employment and professional learning are something that as an organisation we remain committed too. We want to develop and cultivate future leaders for the Bagot Community so that they are in place to one-day hold all of this themselves and be equipped and resourced to maintain the growth.
We continue to work with PM&C to drive these changes and to ensure we can continue to grow opportunities for the Bagot Community.
2017-18 has seen our OSHC program successfully transform to a mainstream model of delivery which will ensure it is sustainable for the long term. We have successfully transitioned from a budget based funded service to a mainstream fee paying model. As expected we encountered some small challenges along the way but we have also had great support from the community and have been able to enrol and complete all work required for families to continue to access the service and formally enrol their children.
We continue to work in our Trauma informed approach and develop the skills of our team. Professional development of the OSHC team this year has been extensive and deliberate to ensure a high quality staff team is achieved to provide a quality OSHC program for children the broader Bagot community.
We have maintained the services “Safe Place” reputation and the consistency of our work on the community. We have been privileged to share in the journey of Bagot children’s childhoods and we continue to learn about the pathways for Aboriginal children and the challenges they encounter. This information and learnings influences the development of the learning programs for Bagot OSHC.
To be known as strong, reliable and compassionate advocates for these little people is the most important work we do at Bagot and what we are by far proudest of.
We work towards new opportunities for the OSHC and the community to innovate.
Child Australia plays a very big role in Bagot Community, the children of Bagot and their families are being motivated for education and life. I think it’s deadly having a supportive group in and among indigenous communities so that it keeps the next generation up to date with life and being encouraged to do the right things and make good life decisions. I have been a part of their programs since I was 11 years old and now I’m watching and encouraging my young family members and their mothers being supported to do things they would normally not do or avoid. trying to make sense of the world out there is hard for our mob and when we have this support its better for us and we do better. Child Australia helps the families too and with the school and services so that problems don’t escalate. Whenever parents are feeling that they can’t find the help they are always here to help. sometimes we get scared and don’t know what to do and they step in and help us through situations that are hard for us.
Child Australia plays a very big role in Bagot Community, the children of Bagot and their families are being motivated for education and life.
I think it’s deadly having a supportive group in and among indigenous communities so that it keeps the next generation up to date with life and being encouraged to do the right things and make good life decisions.
I have been a part of their programs since I was 11 years old and now I’m watching and encouraging my young family members and their mothers being supported to do things they would normally not do or avoid. trying to make sense of the world out there is hard for our mob and when we have this support its better for us and we do better.
Child Australia helps the families too and with the school and services so that problems don’t escalate. Whenever parents are feeling that they can’t find the help they are always here to help. sometimes we get scared and don’t know what to do and they step in and help us through situations that are hard for us.
West Pilbara Mobile Children’s Services
We offer a mobile children’s service for children and families living in the South Hedland Pilbara area in particular the remote indigenous communities of Strelly Station, Tjalka Boorda, Warralong, and Nullagine who have got limited access to child care services. We are funded by the Australian Government Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet.
WPMCS promotes early development for children under school age through access to regular playgroup activities. We provide a supportive environment for children and their family or extended family to have a sense of belonging to the community, opportunities to form friendships and to socialise.
We coordinate four play group sessions each week in the West Pilbara area.
Monday – Strelley Station Indigenious Community School
Tuesday – Tjalka Boorda Community in collaboration with the Town Of Port Hedland
Wednesday – Warralong/Nullagine (fortnightly) Community School
Thursday – South Hedland Town Square in collaboration with South Hedland Police & Ashburton Aboriginal Corporation
WPMCS play group is a play based program which is built around the early years learning framework and Our CA Mission: A vision of community where children grow, thrive and reach their full potential.
Our Program also focuses on skill recognition, school readiness, and to promote general health and hygiene.
We actively engage with our parents and caregivers to build and improve on their knowledge, skills and capacity for parenting and sustaining family wellbeing.
During the January 2018 to September 2018 period sees the WPMCS commence delivery in 2 new communities Warralong and Nullagine in conjunction with the local community schools.
Our Thursday playgroup in the town square is a collaboration with the South Hedland Police and also Asburton Aboriginal Corporation. The play session is very successful with multiple number of families returning from week to week. It has been noted by all that contribute that Child Australia has helped build trustful and enriching relationships with the police within the indigenous families that attend the session. It has also been noted how engaged the children and families are while attending the session, and how an area that is usually considered dangerous and negative is now a safe zone full of laughter, learning, and love.
Alfred Barker from Tjkala Boorda speaks very highly of the program and quite often speaks about it at his community meetings. He has spoken about the positive it is bringing into our community and how lovely it is to see the families and children engaged in activities and learning together.
Next term WPMCS will deliver a new program in conjunction with Gummala in Marble Bar a community 200 km inland from Port Hedland.
Financial Performance 2018
Child Australia’s operating results over the 2017/2018 financial year showed a consolidated profit of $18K for 2018, (a turnaround from a 2017 deficit of $689K). This was as a result of a 6% increase in total revenue, from $8.6m to $9.1m, and a decrease in associated expenditure, from $9.2m to $9.1m.
Revenue streams are derived from state and federal funded programs and fee for service in the early to middle childhood sector. The fee for service component continues to be an area of growth and represents 75% of total revenue compared to 71% in 2017 as a result of continued initiatives to broaden revenue streams. Staffing costs remain the largest expenditure item and makes up 73% of total expenditure (2017 -74%).
During the 2017/2018 financial year Child undertook further restructuring of its centralised cost base, which resulted in additional cost savings with an ongoing focus to broadening its fee for service arm and non-government funding streams.
The carry forward unexpended program funds decreased to $0.4m (2017 -$0.5m) and will be employed within the 2018/2019 programs.
All staff entitlements were accrued in full at year end and program funding received in advance held over to the new financial year.
An exciting year lies ahead for the organisation as it looks to continue efforts to broaden its revenue and asset base in a continued climate of reduced government funding. Overall the financial position is currently sufficient to undertake future activities.