Keeping pace with families through innovative services
The lives of families are changing, technology is transforming everything we do and jobs and education will look very different in the future.
These are just some of the challenges facing families, and it’s why we have been trialling a range of new service offerings in a small group of centres around the country.
These ‘incubator centres’ have engaged deeply with families to understand their needs and re-imagine the ways in which early learning can be delivered in modern Australia.
Date night care
Strong relationships within the family unit benefit children, and the ‘date night’ concept is offering parents an opportunity to spend time together while their children are receiving high quality care in their Goodstart centre.
The date night concept has been trialled in several different ways ranging from simple pizza and movie nights, to themed nights where children will complete a small project like making a gingerbread house, or extensions on the concept like park afternoons and Sunday afternoon playdates for the whole family.
Centre director at Goodstart Virginia
, Hayley Le, said the idea was in response to parents feeling isolated.
“Parents didn’t have time for anything other than work and their kids. Our regular date nights give couples a chance to spend quality time together to keep their family unit strong.”
has even introduced ‘play nights’
, where families are invited into the centre to learn about play-based learning and receive tips and advice about activities they can do with their child at home.
Families have told us that they’re not sure how best to play with their children, they’re not confident about supporting their child’s learning at home, and they find it hard to give each child in their family the attention they need.
The concept of ‘Goodstart in the home’ has grown from these insights and provided a range of opportunities for incubator centres to test outside of the centre environment.
“We keep our in-home services open so they align with what the family needs,” said Lynne Scotland, centre director at Goodstart Banksia Grove
“Some families just needed to use the time to get out for errands without the children, others wanted to draw on the educator’s knowledge to better support their child’s learning at home.”
The hustle and bustle of life with young children leaves many families feeling too busy to think of interesting things to do with their children. Families also feel overwhelmed by the volume of information and advice available and are often unsure of what to believe when it comes to supporting their child’s learning.
In response to this, incubator centres have developed activity boxes which families can take home to learn and implement best practice on things like biting, play-based learning, toilet training and emotional regulation.
Being there for families in meaningful ways
There are many more new concepts being trialled around Goodstart. It’s all part of our commitment to giving children the best possible start in life.
As Lynne explains, innovating and offering new services has brought centres and families closer together.
“We have a deeper understanding of our families’ needs, the challenges they face and their aspirations for their children.
“We have gained a better understanding and respect for what parenting looks like in this day and age and we’ve built a shared vision for the future.”