Goodstart Harristown supporting all children
Providing every single child that walks through the doors with the best possible start in life is at the heart of Goodstart Harristown.
Centre staff receive specialist training in areas like speech pathology and occupational therapy and receive on the job training so they can apply the theory of these disciplines in practical ways to support their children’s individual needs.
Early Childhood Teacher Jane Whitney said the centre became an Enhancing Children’s Outcomes (EChO) Centre in June 2016, because it was attended by many children from vulnerable circumstances.
“In our kindergarten class last year we had 40 children and out of them 30 were classed as at risk,” she said.
“We work really hard to improve the outcomes of these children by addressing some key areas of vulnerability including supporting the children with language development and managing their emotions before they get to kindergarten.
“We found by focussing this work on the pre-kindergarten children they are better prepared for kindergarten which means we can spend more time focussing on getting them ready for school.”
The centre has a dedicated speech pathologist, a child and family practitioner and occupational therapist.
Ms Whitney provides families with a regular newsletter that outlines the practical ways educators support children to learn.
“For example, we have a few children with developmental delays and sensory issues so our educators focus on having special activity boxes ready for these children, or they set up obstacle courses to help them with their spatial awareness,” she said.
“We are always trying to find new and practical ways of helping children learn that supports their unique needs and development.”