Be You funding extended for further two years, supporting ‘exhausted’ ECEC educators
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has welcomed the recent decision by the Federal Government to support and extend the valuable work of Be You for another two years, as announced by the Prime Minister earlier this week.
Developed by Beyond Blue, and delivered in partnership with ECA and headspace, Be You provides every Australian educator with free online training, practical resources and guidance, so they can confidently support the mental health of children and young people and look after their own mental health and wellbeing.
Early learning services and schools are supported by expert staff to implement and tailor Be You to match the specific needs of their learning community, and nearly 11,000 schools and early learning services have adopted Be You since its launch in November 2018.
Given the challenges of the year, record numbers of educators have turned to Be You in 2020, seeking advice and support about managing the wellbeing of themselves and the children and families in their care.
“The events of 2020 have tested children and young people in ways few could have imagined and we’ve seen parents, carers and educators rally and adapt to support them,” Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman said.
“During the pandemic, Be You has seen record engagement and we’ve focused a lot on supporting educators to look after their own mental health and wellbeing during what has been an incredibly stressful year,” she added, calling the care educators have shown for children and young people “outstanding.”
ECA CEO Samantha Page noted the importance of ensuring that educators are adequately supported to manage the ongoing challenges from a stressful 2020, saying the COVID-19 pandemic has left many educators “stressed, exhausted and concerned for the future.”
In his announcement, Prime Minister Scott Morrison outlined a funding extension of $23 million each year for two years for Be You as part of an interim mental health package ahead of next year’s Federal Budget.
“This funding renewal means continuity and certainty. We can continue to support early learning service and school communities at a time when they need Be You more than ever,” Ms Harman said.