New 400 place Queensland service will combine ECEC and paediatric allied health services

by Freya Lucas

September 14, 2020

Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure is creating a new facility as part of the $80 million Proxima building within Lumina in the Gold Coast’s Health and Knowledge Precinct, pioneering a new model for integrated care which will combine the expertise of paediatric specialists at Proxima and the nearby Gold Coast University and Gold Coast Private Hospitals, as well as students and researchers from Griffith University.

 

Proxima is a private development located within Lumina – the Queensland Government’s 9.5-hectare commercial cluster dedicated to growing the life sciences, health and technology-related businesses within the Precinct.

 

Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure co-founders, Damian and Lauren Hall, said they anticipate a quarter of the centre’s enrolments to come from children who have been referred to the service for support with identified medical needs, with the remainder of the 400 enrolments at the service open to the general community. 

 

Mr and Mrs Hall believe the unique service will be positioned in such a way that it is able to assist thousands of families of children with additional needs, not just those directly enrolled, through the social outcomes generated by the service. 

 

The vision in creating the service, Mrs Hall explained, was creating a space which identifies and nurtures children with additional needs, with Proxima offering “the ideal canvas” on which to bring the vision to life, given the proximity to a number of paediatric specialists and allied health services expected to work within the building.

 

Given Proxima’s location, with medical professionals and academics at the neighbouring hospitals and university, the service is well positioned, she added, to craft a unique holistic model. 

 

“We were confronted by research showing the high percentage of divorces and the breakdown of family units when the requirements for a special needs child were not adequately met,” the Halls told news source Get Regional.

 

”We are disheartened by the fact that many young children are slipping through the cracks with physical or mental issues that go undiagnosed because they lack access to educators who are trained to notice early warning signs and communicate these to parents,” they added. 

 

Sanctuary Early Learning Adventure currently operates five centres in Queensland, with Proxima being the first to have a specific focus on catering to children with additional needs. 

 

A director of special education will be located within the service, to train all staff to be able to identify and support children with additional needs. The service also plans to cultivate relationships with specialists from the hospital and university, being able to work with children directly while they are attending early childhood education and care (ECEC) at Proxima. 

 

Mr Hall expressed his hope that the lessons learnt throughout this project will improve social outcomes and spark “a long term change” in the way ECEC works with the allied health and commercial sectors. 

 

Developer Evans Long, which acquired the project site from the Queensland Government, described the service as being “an example of what can be achieved through the power of collaboration.” 

 

Pending approvals, construction of Proxima should begin early in 2021, with the building expected to be operational mid 2022. 

 

To read the original coverage of this story, please see here

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