- Teachers and educators
- Curriculum and the NT Board of Studies
- Assessment and reporting
- School management
- Early childhood
- Literacy and numeracy
- Supporting students and learning
- Training and beyond school
- Professional learning
- International services
Early childhood newsletter - Term 3, 2011
The Term 3, 2011 newsletter includes:
- Early Years Learning Framework professional development
- The NT Early Childhood Plan - Making the best of the best opportunity: improving outcomes for young children
- Preschool on the Up and Up
- The Abecedarian Approach
- Indigenous parent factor
- Integration of Child and Family Services - who’s doing what?
- Integration of Child and Family Services training
- Building the remote early childhood development workforce – pilot program
- The Australian Early Development Index (AEDI)
Early Years Learning Framework ‘In Action’ professional development sessions were delivered throughout Darwin, Alice Springs, Nhulunbuy, Katherine and Palmerston during term 2. All sessions were well received with very positive feedback on the content and presentation of material. Participant numbers exceeded expectations at all sessions.
(jpg 173 kb)
|Palmerston session |
(jpg 158 kb)
Early Years Learning Framework support opportunities will continue throughout term 3 with morning/afternoon tea sessions. ‘NQF Reconnection Expo’ sessions will be delivered by educators from across the early childhood and school aged care sector will provide examples of how they are managing change in their learning environments and share examples of planning and documentation with peers. Sessions will be held during weeks 5-7 of term 3 in Alice, Katherine, Palmerston, Darwin and Groote. More details will be posted on the DET website in the coming weeks.
For more information, please contact Louise Bishell on (08) 8901 1354.
2. The NT Early Childhood Plan - Making the best of the best opportunity: improving outcomes for young children
Why the plan is being developed?
The Northern Territory Early Childhood plan is being developed to ensure that by 2021 all children in the NT will have the best start in life, to create a better future for them and the nation and that Australia’s children and young people are safe and well. The primary focus of the Northern Territory Early Childhood Plan will be the delivery of improved outcomes for children in the NT, through the development, implementation and evaluation of an integrated multi -agency service model, over the next ten years.
Who’s developing the plan?
The Plan is being developed by members of the Department of Education and Training, the Department of Health and the Department of Children and Families. It is guided by a steering committee, with representation from a range of government departments including education, health, justice, housing, children and families and the Office of the Chief Minister.
Consultation for the plan took place across the NT during April and May in Galiwin’ku, Nhulunbuy, Darwin, Katherine, Tennant Creek, Alice Springs and Yuendumu. Almost five hundred parents, carers, early childhood practitioners, leaders and decision makers attended consultation meetings or completed the online survey. A comprehensive consultation report has been prepared to inform the development of the Plan by the Allan Consulting Group.
The draft plan is currently under development, taking into consideration current research, NT data including health, education and social wellbeing data, and the consultation report. The plan is expected to be finalised and submitted to the NT Government later this year.
A series of four research papers commissioned by the Department of Education to inform the development of the NT Early Childhood Plan can be found at www.smartnt.nt.gov.au.
Preschool enrolment rates have risen over the past 12 months demonstrating that we are heading in the right direction to achieve the target of 95% of the four year old population enrolled in and attending preschool.
The Northern Territory Government is committed to providing universal access to early childhood education by 2013. This commitment will ensure that every child has access to a quality preschool program delivered:
- in the year before full time school
- by a four-year university trained teacher with early childhood qualifications
- for 15 hours a week, 40 weeks a year
- across a range of settings
- in a form that meets the needs of parents, and
- at a cost that does not present a barrier to access
In 2010, preschool enrolment increased 4.2% to 88.4% of the four year old population with 82.4 % of Indigenous four year olds enrolled in preschool. On average, preschools were offering fourteen hours of preschool per week and at the beginning of the 2011 school year 54% of preschools were providing fifteen or more hours per week.
What are the benefits of the Universal Access commitment?
- Access to a quality early childhood education program for all children.
- Children acquire basic skills for life and learning through engaging in quality play-based early learning programs.
- Early learning facilitates the transition to primary school and has a direct and positive effect on future educational, employment and health outcomes.
- Over the longer term, early childhood education generates substantial cost savings through improved health and productivity and reduced expenditure on social services.
Enacting quality early childhood education and care
Professor Joseph Sparling co author of the Carolina Abecedarian Project will be in Darwin for two weeks in late August/early September. Professor Sparling will be working closely with Early Childhood Policy and Regulations to:
- Provide master training (2-3days) to the Families as First Teachers Indigenous Parenting Support Services (FaFT-IPSS) program advisors around the conversational reading element of abecedarian
- Provide a one day training program for all 21 FaFT-IPSS family educators in the conversational reading element of abecedarian
- Provide an interagency presentation/lecture hosted by DET around possible implementation of abecedarian in the remote NT context
- Provide a presentation to DET executive board
- Visit a Families as First Teachers Indigenous Parenting Support Services site to build contextual understandings
- Negotiate possible implementation of the learning games element of abecedarian (scoping for future trials)
- Negotiate possible adaptation of learning games resources for the remote NT context.
The division is looking forward to working with Professor Sparling who brings his extensive experience and knowledge in early childhood intervention strategies to the unique Northern Territory context.
During May and June the Families as First Teachers Indigenous Parenting Support Services program supported the Indigenous Parent Factor team to deliver training in our three regional sites (Arnhem, Top End and Central/Barkley).
Indigenous Parent Factor is an evidence based program that reaches out to Indigenous parents with the aim to positively influence home learning and consequently improve Indigenous children’s chances to a successful start to the early years of schooling. The Program presented training workshops to Family Liaison Officers (FLO’s) and Assistant Teachers over 3 days and focuses attention on 3 inter-related modules: Successful Early Learning, Successful Learning to Read and Successful Learning to Write in the Early Years of Schooling (age group 0 – 8 years).
The 31 FLO’s and assistant teachers who completed this training are now accredited to deliver workshops to parents on community. This work was mapped across the Certificate III Community Services Work by our training provider CAAPS. The Australian Adult Training Services mapped competency in three units for the Certificate IV in Education Support.
We look forward to the implementation of workshops on community in semester 2.
Integrated Family Services unit (IFS), in the NT Department of Education and Training, is working with community, government and non government agencies to implement integrated child and family services in the Territory Growth Towns (TGT). The whole-of-government and non government model will focus upon improving the quality of and increasing access to, early childhood development services to ensure parents and communities have the support and resources to meet their needs. Services for integration are universal and targeted services including early learning, health, child care, parenting and family support services; across all levels inclusive of community or local level, regional level and policy level.
So, meet the team involved with the integration of child and family services.
Andy provides high level policy direction and management of IFS. This includes the integration of child and family services, and community engagement for the Australian Early Development Index.
Kate leads the development and implementation of policy and projects related to the integration of child and family services and Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership in the TGT.
|Maryclaire Milikins |
Senior Project and Policy Officer
Maryclaire is responsible for the research, consultation and development of policies and projects relating to the integration of child and family services and Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership.
Manager (Arnhem) and Emily Raso, Manager (Darwin, Katherine, Palmerston and Rural)
Michelle and Emily lead and manage implementation of the integration of child and family services and the Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership in the TGTs of their region. They also provide a regional interface for other service providers and the community into Early Childhood Policy and Regulations. The Manager for Central Australia and Barkly regions is currently being recruited to.
|Deborah Guy |
Project Assistant, Integrated Family Services
Deb provides project and administrative support to the IFS team.
Child and Family Leaders
Within the community, the Child and Family Leader (described as Early Childhood Coordinator in the Local Implementation Plans) will lead and co-ordinate government and non-government service providers to develop an integrated services action plan. The CFL will initially be focusing upon engaging the community and service providers through the local reference group and/or child and family wellbeing reference groups to establish a shared vision for children and families as a basis for service reform.
Recruitment of Child and Family Leaders has commenced with a Michelle McColm employed on Groote Eylandt and Diane Roberts in Ngukurr. Recruitment is also underway for Gunbalanya and Maningrida with proposed recruitment to Ntaria, Yuendumu, Lajamanu and Yirrkala in August 2011.
Please contact the Integrated Family Services team on 89011356 if you require further information or would like to speak to a member of the team.
In June 2011, interagency staff from Groote Eylandt participated in the inaugural Integration of child and family services Training. The training was delivered by the Centre for Community Child Health (CCCH) and was designed to assist local communities refocus services for children and families, and strengthen the capacity of communities to promote positive outcomes for children.
The training is grounded in the concept that communities are in a strong position to facilitate early childhood development, and therefore are a natural place to start in our efforts to improve outcomes for children. However, experience tells us that the issues are complex and challenging, and communities often struggle to know how to refocus services and strengthen the support offered to children and their families.
The research evidence about the early years suggests that there are a number of tasks that need to be undertaken by a community and services to refocus and to build greater capacity. In many communities, the existing service system is not effectively utilised because of poor coordination, professionals working in restrictive program silos, a lack of service access for high-needs families, and an absence of local data to identify needs and to monitor outcomes. Even where services are provided, many families may not use them for one reason or another, and may be relatively isolated because they have few opportunities to meet other families.
The Integration of child and family services training has been developed to allow facilitators (Child and Family Leaders) to guide communities through a stepwise process designed to result in a positive network of effective services that promote early childhood development. The four key steps include:
- Raising awareness of Early Childhood
- Community Engagement and Planning
- Implementation (training, early identification, intervention)
- Monitoring and Evaluation
Please call 89011356 for further information about the Integration of child and family services Training.
We already know that training local Aboriginal people for local jobs has multiple benefits. These include improved recruitment and retention of skilled workers, contributing to an improved local economy and building social capital across the community.
Research has also demonstrated that improving the qualifications of the early childhood workforce can improve outcomes for participating children because the activities and programs delivered are of higher quality.
Building the local qualified workforce is therefore fundamental to sustaining effective programs for young children in our remote communities. It will also contribute to improved collaboration and understanding between staff and employers across the early childhood sector such as educators, health workers and community safety.A skilled workforce will assist children and their families to be better equipped for school and life.
The workforce pilot for early childhood studies is planned to commence in Yuendumu in third term 2011 and three other sites will commence later this year. On-site trainers will work with an experienced registered training organisation (RTO) in communities to deliver an innovative format comprising:
- VET-in-schools’ the Community Services Certificate 1 & 2 training for VETis
- Children’s Services/Community Services Certificate 3 apprenticeship training for years 10/11
- Certificate 3 training for the childcare centre staff
DET will be recruiting further to these positions in the coming months. The four sites selected for the pilot program are Yuendumu, Gunbalanya, Ngukurr and Maningrida. These communities are each in the process of designing and establishing a new Child and Family Centre with expanded early childhood facilities. A skilled and available local workforce will be a key contributor to the success of the new Centres.
If you would like further information regarding the Building the Remote Early Childhood Development Workforce pilots please contact Kate Race on 8901 1356.
The report on the Northern Territory Results for the Australian Early Development Index 2009 was publicly released in May 2011 and has been distributed to a wide range of early childhood stakeholders. The report provides an analysis of the AEDI data within the NT’s unique context and should prove a useful tool for a range of early childhood stakeholders.
In April 2011, an enhanced national AEDI dataset was released as a result of a large body of work undertaken by all states and territories; including the smaller scale follow-up survey conducted in 2010. In the NT, the effect of this work has resulted in the publication of AEDI data at a far greater level then ever seen before. Previously, only 42 AEDI Local Communities had publicly available data. This number has now increased to 196 local communities, representing 97 per cent of local communities in 2011. This data is available at www.aedi.org.au and is presented in a variety of mediums, including interactive maps and community profiles.
The NT report should be viewed in conjunction with the NT’s publically available online AEDI data via the national website. The findings in the report and the online data can help communities, schools, service providers and government agencies understand what’s working well and what needs to be improved or developed to better support children and their families.
Future of the AEDI
In May 2011, the Federal Government made an ongoing commitment to the AEDI with future cycles of data collection to occur every three years. The next national AEDI data collection will occur in 2012. The Early Childhood Policy and Regulations team will soon begin preparatory work for the data collection next year, including a communication strategy to all NT schools.