Funding boost for Western Australia
Communities throughout Western Australia are benefiting from a unique program focused on supporting vulnerable children and families.
Goodstart Early Learning has received an additional $510,000 in funding through the Woodside Development Fund to extend the Family Connections Program for a further three years.
Continuation of the program in 2017 is anticipated to provide support to a further 12 communities - six Goodstart centres and six other early learning community centres.
The Family Connections Program focuses on helping educators build and nurture collaborative partnerships with families and communities to improve children’s social, emotional and language skills.
Goodstart social inclusion coordinator for Western Australia Rina Mehta has welcomed the support, saying the ongoing investment will bring significant benefits to vulnerable children and families.
"The importance of access to high quality early learning programs cannot be underestimated... not just for the children, but also for the support they offer to families. I'm really pleased Woodside feels the same way and has committed another three years of funding to the Family Connections program," Ms Mehta said.
“The initial $200,000 investment from the Woodside Development Fund, has already helped deliver the Family Connections Program across 20 Goodstart centres in the region, and provide almost 2000 developmentally vulnerable children across Western Australia with greater learning potential and outcomes.”
“The ongoing investment will go a long way to providing greater access to high quality early learning programs,” she said.
The Family Connections program is delivered by Goodstart Early Learning and involves centres attending one and two day workshops, over a six month period. The program covers topics such as communication, social, emotional and sensory development, community links, and attachment based practices.
Goodstart Early Learning centres that have participated in the past have observed a range of positive changes in relationships and quality interactions with children.
Woodside is contributing $20 million to early childhood development over 10 years through the Woodside Development Fund.