Welcome to the June edition of the Connecting Early Years Network Support Project Newsletter
Business Case - Connecting Early Years Networks Support Project Update
Earlier in 2017 the Connecting Early Years Networks Support Project developed a Business Case requesting ongoing funding to support the continuation of the CEYNSP for Early Years Networks. The continuation of a backbone model is supported by the Project Reference Group and more broadly by Early Years Networks across the State. Current project funding ceases on June 30th 2017 and WACOSS has presented the Business Case to Government Departments.
Currently The Department of Local Government and Communities and The Department of Child Protection and Family Support have committed funding for one year to support the CEYNSP. This reduced funding will allow the team to continue to work at the Centre for Parenting Excellence in Mount Lawley. Sue Nye, Manager Social Policy will continue to provide part time management support to the project and Carin McCashin will continue to work part time as the Community Engagement Officer. Due to the reduced funding the team are currently working with the project reference group and utilising the recommendations from our recent project evaluation to determine the best model of support that the CEYNSP can provide to Early Years Networks over the next year.
On Friday June 23 Pauline Gallacher will finish working with the Connecting Early Years Network Support Project. Pauline has been working with the team for 18 months and has been a valued support to many Early Years Networks across the State and played a key role in developing and implementing the project. We will greatly miss Pauline’s enthusiasm and dedication to the role. We wish Pauline all the very best in her future.
Good News Story! - Local Governments and Early Years Networks: Working in Partnership
Many Local Governments and Early Years Networks are already doing great work together in their communities. A recent example of this partnership approach is The Midwest Early Years Network (MEYN) working with their Local Government (The City of Greater Geraldton - CCG) to host a weekly intergenerational playgroup.
The “Special Moments – Over 50’s Grandparents & Carers Playgroup” started in May. These important groups are running at the local seniors centre every Thursday.
We're grateful to the CGG and MEYN for their support. CGG are generously funding some equipment and promotion. Local MEYN members working with seniors are helping spreading the message.
This is an example of an EYN seizing the chance to work with local Council.
For more information, contact 08 9921 6814.
Local Governments and Early Years Networks: Working in Partnership Forum
In partnership with Department of Local Government and Communities (DLGC), Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) and the Local Government Professionals Association the CEYNSP Team hosted a Forum on 31 May 2017 to build partnerships and access tools and information to support children in the early years in your communities. The Hon. David Alan Templeman launched the Local Government and Early Years Networks: Working in Partnership Resource.
The resource has been sent to all CEOs of Local Governments as strategic plans are informed by consultation with communities about the importance of supporting children in the early years. Forty-seven Early Years Networks throughout Western Australia have also received copies. This resource provides links to tools and information including how many young children live in your community, how to successfully engage in decision making and to ensure local government is informed about local issues; how to access Australian Early Development Census information about your community and other resources that will help you community better support children in the early years. To access the resource online please click here here.
~ Hon David Alan Templeman
On the day we heard from the incredible Professor Donna Cross from Co-Lab at TKI who spoke about what is needed to optimize young children’s learning and development. We learned about the WA Early Years Population Profile that provides evidence based information about children living in their communities, to access the profile click here. We also heard from two wonderful Early Years Networks – WASEY (Wanneroo and Surrounds Early Years Networks) and Midwest Early Years Networks who spoke about how they are working collaboratively with their Local Government. The CEYNSP team also presented on the recent Evaluation Report findings.
~ Professor Donna Cross
Feedback from the day
“Excellent evidence and practical balance. Good opportunity to network in breaks, great workshop questions to gather info and share experiences”
“Reinforced the need to collaborate and its importance”
“Please repeat this to elected members and CEO’s”
“Donna’s presentation was fantastic”
“Keep up the great work and continue to keep us informed”
To access all the presentations from the day please go over to the Resources page on the EYN Portal or click here to access.
The project is pleased to release the Executive Summary Evaluation Report of the CEYNSP. The survey evaluation was released on 14 March 2017 to stakeholders and members of Early Years Networks. A total of 118 responses were received from forty five out of the forty seven networks. The results of the Evaluation will allow WACOSS to evaluate the effectiveness of our support to date with Early Years Networks and to provide feedback to the sector about what we have learned.
We want to thank the hundreds of members of Early Years Networks across WA and pay tribute to the important work they do for West Australian children and their families. We are grateful for their contribution to this report and the support shown for the project overall. Members of Early Years Networks have been true partners, both in terms of supporting the work of the project and in being ‘critical friends’ when required – guiding us through challenges and opportunities.
To access the Report please go to the resources section in the portal
Evaluation Survey Winner
The winner of the survey draw was Tracey Pollett from the Altone Early Years Network! Tracey won a $300 Coles / Myer Gift card, Congratulations Tracey.
We would like to thank everyone who completed the survey. The results from the Evaluation have provided us with the opportunity to capture key lessons and will provide future recommendations for the project.
Bunbury Early Childhood Strategy
The following announcement was made by Mayor Gary Brennan to develop an Early Childhood Strategy in Bunbury….
Bunbury City Council are set to consider how they could join other local governments in putting together an early childhood strategy for the community. Mayor Gary Brennan spoke briefly to council at a meeting on Tuesday night about the potential of the strategy being rolled out for Bunbury. Mayor Brennan said the idea came about following a Schools of the Future meeting he recently attended.
"I was asked to talk about infant health centres and during the discussion, which was attended by a number of people, consideration was made around an early childhood strategy," he said.
"It would be a statement about what the community can do to assist with early childhood development.
"The plan is to have a discussion in about four weeks time with city representatives, Investing in our Youth and the Member for Bunbury to discuss the potential of having an early childhood strategy for Bunbury." Bunbury has previously put a project in place looking at early childhood in 2014.
Mayor Brennan said the strategy would be an asset to Bunbury.
"Let's document how we can work collaboratively to improve early childhood years within Bunbury so that's a combination of health care professionals, our city libraries, who already conduct a lot of reading and jigsaw activities for early childhood, and mother's groups," Mr Brennan said.
"There are a range of groups that operate, let's just get some synergy out of everyone working together.
"I believe that our city is a complete city so we can cater for our community from the time they're born to their final resting time and they can spend all that time in Bunbury so every aspect of our community, every demographic needs to be acknowledged and assisted where possible." The City would work together with a number of community groups to put the plan together, including not for profit organisation Investing In Our Youth who focus on promoting the healthy development of children in the South West.
Investing In Our Youth chief executive officer Carmen Gregg said would be happy to be involved in and support the City in developing the strategy.
"An early years strategy involves multidisciplinary input from many agencies who have an interest in supporting the early years. The fact that the City of Bunbury is willing to consider this endeavour is very commendable," she said.
"Evidence from multiple sources highlights the importance of the early years.
Committing to an early years strategy will ensure that we are all working collaboratively in partnership to give Bunbury children the best possible start in life."
Funding Announcement - beyondblue leads major new mental health in education initiative
beyondblue is set to lead a transformation in the development of good mental health and wellbeing practices for all Australian children from early learning centres to the end of secondary school.
After a competitive tender process the Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP, today announced a grant of $52.7 million over two years to beyondblue for a new mental health in education program.
beyondblue will begin the first stage of developing and designing the ground-breaking initiative from July 1, 2017. The initiative will be launched to early learning services, primary and secondary schools in partnership with Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and the National Youth Mental Health Foundation, headspace, in 2018.
For further information please click here to access the full media release.
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We absolutely love this quote at the CEYNP Team and we believe the fantastic work you are doing in your communities is causing a ripple effect!
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