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Additional services helping children to thrive in Ashmont

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Goodstart recognises that not all children get the best possible start in life. Children and families in Ashmont will now be able to benefit from additional support services and new facilities recently introduced at their early learning centre, Goodstart Ashmont.

To ensure all children have access to quality learning Ashmont uses an enhanced service delivery model to provide additional resources to children, families and educators. The services are tailored to reflect specific community needs and are delivered in partnership with other local government and non-government agencies. This model is referred to as EChO (Enhancing Children’s Outcomes).

A qualified speech pathologist and child and family practitioner are now working directly with centre staff to support their work with families and children who attend the service in an environment that is safe, calm and welcoming.

The complexity of early childhood learning and development, as well as the changing nature of the field, creates the need for early childhood professionals to remain proactive and frequently reflect on and update their skills.  The centre has also employed a professional cook to prepare fresh, nutritious meals and snacks for children onsite to enjoy every day.

The 96-place centre has also been completely transformed with a major playground and inside upgrade.

Designed with natural elements in mind, the centre’s new playground features a mud kitchen and water play area, dry river bed, pergola area, a Yarning circle and meeting space as well as other features designed to encourage children’s creativity and independence while helping to develop their physical and gross motor skills.

Centre director Amanda Tyrrell, who has been with the centre for nearly 10 years, said the centre is already seeing positive results.

“In our community, we saw a real need to provide families with a greater level of support, and also the opportunity to improve learning outcomes for children,” Ms Tyrrell said.

“Our educators, quite of a few of them who have been with the centre for many years, are incredibly committed to ensuring children get the possible start in life. At Goodstart we know how critical the first five years are, so everything we do at the centre supports children so they can reach their full potential in school and throughout their life.

“We are now working even more closely with our parents and families to identify what additional support services will benefit their child, and the feedback has been very positive so far. Our families are excited to be more involved in their child’s journey with Goodstart, for children it’s their home away from home,” she said.

As well as offering dedicated child and family services and access to speech pathology, the centre is also planning to introduce occupational therapy services. Goodstart is also able to offer scholarships for children who need it most through the Early Years Fund.

“This approach of providing wrap-around support on top of quality early learning, combined with a focus nutrition, will support the development and wellbeing of all children, particularly those most vulnerable,” Ms Tyrrell said.
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