More support for those who need it most
Selected centre team members across the Goodstart network are taking part in specialised training this month as the number of children being supported by the Early Learning Fund (ELF) is rapidly increased.
National lead, social inclusion, Penny Markham said teams from 91 Goodstart Centres would undertake the training to prepare them to work with the 400 children who have been assessed as meeting the fund’s strict eligibility criteria.
Workshops are underway in South Australia, the Northern Territory, Western Australia, Queensland, Victoria and NSW over the next four weeks, to help centre staff understand the support the ELF offers to children experiencing vulnerability.
“ELF has been offering support to a limited number of children in a small number of Goodstart Centres since 2015.
“Over that time we have assisted more than 500 children to complete a year of high quality early learning to help ensure they have a successful transition to school,” Ms Markham said.
“It’s is very exciting to be able to offer a new group of children the extra support they need.
“Children identified as meeting our strict eligibility criteria are expected to commence the ELF program from July 1.”
Now the ELF is expanding – this year alone Goodstart expects to assist some 400 children, partnering with Uniting (NSW & ACT) to help even more.
With the assistance of funds from corporate suppliers and Goodstarters making a contribution through the Giving@Goodstart program and philanthropic partners, ELF is expected to continue to grow, supporting around 700 children each year.
Children aged between three to five years old whose families have exhausted all forms of government assistance can be offered support through the ELF.
Goodstart and Uniting are continuing to work on plans to expand the fund, with more Goodstart Centres expected to be able of offer ELF to struggling families in 2020.
To find out more about the ELF program, and what this means for Australia's children, check out the video here.
Pictured above is Goodstart Early Learning CEO Julia Davison signing the ELF agreement.