Supporting differences in learning and development
We all know children learn and develop at different paces. But sometimes they need a little extra support to give them the best start in life.
Goodstart has been working to make support services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and child and family practitioner support, more accessible and convenient for families through its Enhancing Children's Outcomes (EChO) approach.
The innovative 'test and learn' model currently sees educators in 40 centres working alongside allied health teams to achieve an uplift in children with vulnerabilities.
The trial supports the NDIS’s
Early Childhood Approach by working with local organisations known as Early Childhood Partners, in order to:
- connect parents to early childhood intervention service providers
- share practical information about child development
- use their expertise to understand the differences in learning and development that your child might experience
- identify if your child is likely to benefit from early support
- support you to apply to the NDIS by providing information and evidence for your application, and
- monitor your child’s progress and support them to transition from the Early Childhood Approach.
By working together, Goodstart, Early Childhood Partners
and families can make sure children have access to the services they need to have the best start in life.
Families are loving the model, which offers:
- Accessibility and convenience. Days are not disrupted by running to and from appointments in other locations. Traditionally, waitlists for specialists are long, and appointments difficult to get to.
- Secure and comforting environments. Families and children are in environments they are familiar with and trust. The service takes a lot of stress out of trying to navigate a complex system.
- Teachers and educators who are better equipped to support both parents and children. Educators have the opportunity to see how children are progressing day-by-day, and can make changes to strategies to ensure they are effective.
- Involving early learning professionals on a daily basis. They can help complete observations and assessments, and organise and report on the child’s plan and agreement.
- One-on-one and group therapy sessions where the child is already happy and comfortable.
Penny Markham, Goodstart Early Learning’s National Lead for Social Inclusion, believes combining the knowledge and expertise of educators and therapists is also beneficial for early learning teachers and educators.
“When strategies are implemented together, children make more progress, and educators enjoy their roles more,” Penny said.
“Our educators have an intent and passion to make a difference. Working directly with allied health experts helps them program and plan activities for individuals and their room, and supports them to do the best they can for the children in their care.”