This morning I enjoyed seeing a number of initiatives that are helping to engage and inspire children at the Cockburn Family Centre in Coolbellup, which is coordinated by Meerilinga.
Parents and guardians play a fundamental role in the healthy development of children, and in recognition of this, Meerilinga’s services encourage their participation through two parenting services, the Outreach Parenting Support Service, which also offers in-home support, and the Grandparents Caring for Grandchildren Group.
These programs allow parents and grandparents to come together and share ideas and experiences, gain support, resources and information about positive parenting, particularly in the areas of behaviour and sleep, in a welcoming environment.
With Coolbellup representing a diverse population, it was wonderful to hear that parents and children from non-English speaking backgrounds are beginning to utilise these programs.
Staff spoke to me about their early learning program, which provides a nurturing pre-kindy program for three to four year-olds. It is encouraging to hear facilities such as these are helping children to interact, communicate and be more resilient to the actions of others, which in turn is improving their self-esteem.
The centre relies on a well-connected support structure to maintain its presence within the community. Referrals from child health nurses, and the support of dedicated volunteers and local libraries play a vital role in raising awareness of Meerilinga’s services.
Thank you to everyone who made the visit possible today, in particular Jennifer Harper and Gale Aulsebrook.
Acting Commissioner for Children and Young People