Regional Development Australia - Wheatbelt
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Regional Children’s Services Plan

 

The Board and Staff of RDA Wheatbelt would like to congratulate Glenice Batchelor on the completion of the Regional Children’s Services Plan project.  Information on the RCSP is available through our office and on this page. We look forward to catching up with Glenice as she moves onto new ventures.

RDA Wheatbelt was awarded the contract to develop a Regional Children’s Services Plan for the Wheatbelt. This forms part of the state wide initiative of the Department of Local Government and Communities to develop specific plans for each of the nine regions in Western Australia (WA).

Funding for this project is provided by the Department of Local Government and Communities through the Regional Community Child Care Development Fund (RCCCDF).

The Regional Community Child Care Development Fund was established to support the development of sustainable models of regional community-managed education and care that meet the needs of families living in regional Western Australia. Funding of $9.3 million has been provided by the Royalties for Regions budget over four years, which will support the transformation and longer-term sustainability of regional community-managed education and care services. The program recognises the challenges often faced by education and care providers in regional Western Australia in providing services as a result of distance, isolation, reliance on volunteers or lack of funds. The fund includes an operational grants program, a strategic grants program, support for the inclusion of children with special needs and support for children’s services regional planning.

RDA Wheatbelt’s Regional Development Officer (RDO), Glenice Batchelor, has been working with local communities and collaborating with organisations and agencies to develop a more strategic, long term approach to supporting sustainable models of community managed education and care services in the Wheatbelt.

The focus for the plan will include Early Education and Care services (previously known as child care services) located in regional Western Australia, as well as broader services, initiatives and networks that support families and children. This includes but is not limited to early year’s networks, playgroups, parenting services, and Aboriginal early childhood services.

The primary activities associated with this contract were:
  • Production of a Regional Children’s Services Plan and providing input into the development of a state-wide plan.
  • Support the development and/or maintenance of Regional Children’s Services interagency structures (new or existing) including developing ongoing sustainability options.
  • Support the development and sustainability of regional Education and Care services through the implementation of agreed strategies recommended as part of the Regional Children’s Services Plan.
  • Production of Regional Children’s Services Plan Implementation report.

The contract plan and implementation will be completed by 31st October 2015.

       News & Opportunities

The Wheatbelt Family & Children’s Services and Support Directory - Dec 2015 Update

The Wheatbelt Family & Children’s Services and Support Directory is an initiative of Regional Development Australia Wheatbelt, the Department for Local Government and Communities and the former Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations. This resource has been developed to provide a quick guide on services and support available to parents of children aged 0-5 and to providers of early childhood education and care (i.e. child care) in the Wheatbelt region of WA.

Please download a copy of the updated directory.

We are continually seeking to improve the content of the Directory and encourage you to contact us at admin@rdawheatbelt.com.au if you identify any omissions or have ideas about additional information that would be useful to include.

WACOSS Connecting Early Years Portal

The Connecting Early Years Networks Portal is purpose built collaboration tool for early years networks Throughout Western Australia.

It is free to join and provides a collaborative space for: 

-  Networking and connecting online  
 - Posting dates of meetings, training and networking opportunities 
 - Storing documents and resources relevant to the early years sector 
 - Linkages with training and professional development opportunities within the sector. We invite people to share training resources and tool kits.  
 - Engaging in information sharing and discussion on matters relating to the early years sector. 
- Connecting with other community members and early years service providers

The Early Years Network portal is a DropIN inspired solution. Explore the Early Years Portal with your DropIN account today. Register at eyn.dropin.org.au If you need assistance please contact the team on eyn@wacoss.org.au 

Download the flyer

Nature Play - Getting Our Kids Outdoors

Check out the 'things to do', events, activities, programs and resources on the Nature Play website.

Kindilink Centres for the Wheatbelt

The Minister has announced an extension of the early years’ education strategy with two new initiatives:  a pilot in 37 sites of ‘KindiLink’, a voluntary Kindergarten program for Aboriginal three year old children; and  the conversion of the five Commonwealth funded Children and Family Centres to Child and Parent Centres.

The Wheatbelt region will receive two pilot centres in Northam and one in Narrogin.

Information about the two new initiatives is online.

Free AEDC resources

Early Childhood Australia has worked with the Queensland Government, Department of Education and Training to develop a suite of free AEDC resources to support the critical work of the early childhood sector and their communities in providing the best developmental opportunities for children.

http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/

"Give me 5 for kids" Radio Campaign

June in the Wheatbelt is more than just growing crops. It’s the “Give me 5 for Kids” radio campaign! Listen to Radio West on Tuesday’s and Friday morning’s in June to hear about the importance of the Early Years.

Listen to -

Why play is so important and get involved

Kizia Metcalf - Chair of Lil Tigers, Dowerin

Bobby Wheeler - Milly Molly Mandy's Childcare Center, Brookton

Nature Play with Griffin Longley

School readiness with Tracey Weatheritt

David Zarb – CEO Playgroup WA

Professor Desiree Silva, Consultant Paediatrician on Rural Focus

Liz Bakowski, Project Officer Public Health Advocacy Institute Western Australia

York - 'Models of Service' forum report

The forum was a follow on event from the successful Wheatbelt EYN Conference to decide on outcomes required to ensure long-term sustainability for services and their communities. It was unanimously agreed that new structure(s) is needed as a matter of urgency for the governance and management of small community based Early Childhood Education and Care (Childcare) services in the Wheatbelt region. Please download the forum report.

SW Medicare Local - York Early Years Hub - 'Ask the Expert'

The 'Ask the Expert' event recently held by the SW Medicare Local in partnership with the York Early Years Hub was a great success. With over 30 parents attending there was plenty of discussion throughout the morning on early child development, immunisation and maternal health. As a result of the event, a set of Frequently asked Questions has been produced by which can be used as a reference for future discussions with parents on vaccinations and childhood development. Please download the 'Ask the Expert' summary report and FAQs.

Wheatbelt Regional Children's Service Plan

The comprehensive 142 page Plan for the Wheatbelt has been approved for distribution. This Plan has been developed through the Regional Community Child Care Development Fund administered by the Department of Local Government and Communities and funded through the State Governments Royalties for Regions program. Please download the Wheatbelt Regional Children's Services Plan

Wheatbelt Early Years Conference Report

The highly successful Wheatbelt Early Years Conference was held in Kellerberrin in March. Please download the report.

Showcased Services in the Wheatbelt

Please follow the links to see some great messages about what is happening in our region.
See examples on Family Daycare, ECEC Delivery and an Early Years Hub. More to follow!

Early Childhood Australia (ECA)

This early childhood advocacy organisation, acts in the interests of young children, their families and those in the early childhood field. ECA advocates to ensure quality, social justice and equity in all issues relating to the education and care of children aged birth to eight years.

Information includes professional learning, webinars and publications.

Early Childhood Education and Care paper released

Price Waterhouse Cooper have released the 'Putting a value on early childhood education and care in Australia' paper. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the Australian evidence base and to continue to inform the national discussion on ECEC.In particular the paper provides estimates of the possible impact and value of three scenarios to the Australian economy:
• increased female labour force participation
• increased productivity from children’s participation in quality ECEC
• increased participation of children from vulnerable or disadvantaged backgrounds in ECEC.

The Coalitions Policy for Better Childcare & Early Learning

The Coalition has outlined in this Policy Document their vision for a more responsive child care system that meets the needs of today’s families.

Download the policy