Last week I was privileged to spend time with educators, parents and children from the It’s All About Play program in Girrawheen and the Meerilinga Children and Family Centre in High Wycombe.
Both of these initiatives are great examples of best practice programs that have been developed under the Connecting Early Years Network Support Program developed by WACOSS.
The early years networks are groups of parents, professionals and community members committed to improving outcomes for children aged zero to eight. They play a fundamental role in supporting WA young children and their families to live good lives.
It's All About Play is a free program run by the City of Wanneroo that offers hands-on, multi-sensory learning opportunities through play for families and children up to the age of four. The program’s main focus is to support children to reach their fullest potential by supporting their first teachers – their parents or carers. The program has been so successful that other local councils and community groups across Perth have adopted the program.
The City of Wanneroo has also partnered with the ECU Pregnancy to Parenthood Clinic, and Child and Adolescent Community Health so families have access to specialists such as child health nurses, clinical psychology interns or speech therapists.
Meerilinga Young Children’s Foundation are a member of the Zig Zag Early Years Partnership, an early years network in the City of Kalamunda that supports families, early years service providers and early childhood practitioners to deliver positive outcomes for children and families. The City has shown exemplary support for the group by employing a youth & community development officer to assist them with coordination and community activities.
The Meerilinga Children and Family Centre High Wycombe was awarded the 2018 Australian Early Childhood Education and Care Award for the WA Service of the Year.
It was great to hear from the parents that they enjoy being able to come along and relax, pop their phones on silent and play with their child in a safe and inclusive environment.
Congratulations to the City of Wanneroo, Meerilinga and the City of Kalamunda on these great initiatives.