Families benefit from positive relationships
More than 3,500 families with children at risk or facing temporary hardship were supported by Goodstart Early Learning and the Australian Government in 2016 – double the number in 2012.
The number of families who have benefitted from the Special Childcare Benefit through Goodstart’s 645 centres has increased steadily since 2012, thanks to centre directors recognising the need for help.
The Special Childcare Benefit provides up to 13 weeks of free childcare for families going through tough times. Applications must meet government criteria and Goodstart Early Learning has a team in place to support centre directors applying when eligibility is met.
While many centre directors identify children and families which are need, Goodstart Early Learning also works with child support agencies to identify those at risk.
At Goodstart Morningside Junction Road, centre director Liz Kingdon applied for help for four families in December.
“For me, it’s all about knowing our families and building good relationships with them, and Goodstart’s commitment to helping families in their times of need,” Ms Kingdon said.
“If I notice a mum or dad is a bit stressed out or they’re not themselves I often take the time to have a chat and see if there’s anything we can help with.”
She said families often didn’t know help with fees was available when times were tough.
“We had a family in December and the mum had to go into hospital so we helped them apply to the Government to get a little support and they were really pleased. A lot of families don’t know this type of help exists.”
Goodstart Early Learning is a social enterprise, dedicated to ensuring all children have the learning, development and wellbeing outcomes they need for school and life.
The special childcare benefit helps those families who are facing temporary hardship, or those children who may be at risk. For Goodstart Early Learning, it helps ensure access and continuity of care for children which makes a difference to their outcomes.
“The funding means the children and their families can continue to access our care when they may not have been able to do it otherwise,” Ms Kingdon said.