Access to Early Learning Fund pays benefits
A program developed by Goodstart Early Learning to help improve access to quality early learning and care for eligible children and families is showing great benefits.
The Early Learning Fund was developed by The Benevolent Society and Goodstart to remove cost as a barrier to families accessing early learning for their child.
Jodie Porter, centre director at Goodstart Rosebud Boneo Road
, said the program, which provided financial and non-financial support to families, had made its mark.
“We currently have four families with kindergarten children using the fund,” Ms Porter said. “They meet our special criteria for support and attend the centre two days a week.”
The families pay a contribution fee of $5 a day to attend the centre.
“We’ve found that the help with fees means families have the chance to get other siblings in to the centre. We have one family with a kindergarten-aged child attending two days a week, and their two-year-old attending two days a week.
“It means the mum can think about going back to work because of the support she has received from the centre.”
As part of the program, Goodstart arranges to meet families at least twice before the child starts school to establish shared goals for early learning and to work on a transition to school.
“Our families have been really grateful for the help,” Ms Porter said. “And the money saved has been used to help out at home.
“We’ve even noticed better behaviour from the children because they have a bit more of a routine and are using the service a couple of times a week rather than once.”
Ms Porter said the educators and families were working to ensure the children would be ready for school.
She also networks with local support agencies such as Anglicare and other support agencies to help with funding.
“The team of educators at Boneo Road are proud and feel privileged to be part of an organisation that can offer the Early Learning Fund to our families,” Ms Porter said.
“This has positively impacted not only our kinder room but our toddler room as well. I look forward to seeing the progress of this program with our families, educators and community over the coming months.