Page 1063 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
people to do an early childhood degree; equipping educators with the skills to support children with diverse needs and experiences, including delivering a suite of resources in trauma responsive practice; delivering more professional learning, coaching and mentoring opportunities; and recognising the important contribution of the sector’s workforce, which also forms part of this government’s commitment towards gender equity and the ACT Women’s Plan 2016-26.
We are currently progressing legislative reform work to recognise early childhood education in the Education Act 2004, and developing an ACT-specific early childhood education and care workforce strategy to support a sustainable and supported ECEC workforce here in the territory.
Through the every child has a story foundation, the government is designing systemic supports for ACT-wide transitions to support collaborative approaches between early childhood education and care services and schools, which help share the knowledge of a child’s story; and fostering inclusive environments that embrace diversity so that all children feel safe and valued.
The government has delivered preschool pathways resources for families to help them support their child’s smooth transition to preschool in 2022, and has employed four dedicated preschool pathways partners to work with ECECs and government preschools to provide coaching and mentoring supports for educators in transitions and inclusive education practices for children with additional needs.
A pilot has begun for an approach to effective transitions for priority three-year-old children into four-year-old preschool. This pilot will inform the development of a territory-wide transitions methodology and framework to minimise the impact of transitions on children and families and give continuity to the work and relationships formed by early childhood educators.
Through the working together for children foundation, the government is building stronger system connections to help community services to connect with families through a “no wrong door” approach; embedding communities of kinship and care into Koori preschool by valuing the voices and perspectives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities; and considering how the ACT’s planning decisions can reflect the needs of children in the territory’s growing communities.
The key achievements I have outlined today represent the success so far in implementing the first phase of this 10-year strategy. The impacts of phase 1 will be evaluated and measured to understand the progress made, and to inform phases 2 and 3.
Set up for Success is helping to create an accessible and equitable early childhood education system, where the workforce is valued and supported to mature and excel, where children transition seamlessly between settings that welcome them warmly, and where systems wrap around children and families. This strategy provides a clear and evidence-based road map to get us there.