Shepparton focuses on early years with stage two plan launch
The Victorian Government released the second stage of the Shepparton Education Plan late last week following extensive stakeholder and community engagement.
During the consultation period a group of early years experts worked with local community groups around actions to improve outcomes for children in Shepparton. Around 17,000 people took part in the public consultation undertaken by the Victorian School Building Authority during 2018 to gain feedback on the early years stage of the broader Shepparton Education Plan.
The resulting Shepparton Education Plan – Stage Two – Early Years (Early Years Plan) focusses on the educational journey of children from birth to school and proposes 17 actions to ensure local children have greater access to integrated, effective, and inclusive early childhood education and care services.
“We know that transformational change is needed to ensure children in Shepparton get the best possible start in life and this new Early Years Plan will be critical in helping us get there,” Victoria’s Education Minister, James Merlino said.
“This is a long-term vision and will take careful planning to get right – but we’ll get it done.”
Strengthening inter-agency collaboration with families is central to the plan, with an anticipated outcome of improving the transition from early childhood education and care into school, and ensuring all families understand the value and accessibility of early childhood education services in Shepparton.
The Plan also includes the opening of an integrated early learning centre in the grounds of Mooroopna Primary School, built in partnership with Greater Shepparton City Council and the philanthropic Colman Foundation.
From this centre, families will be able to access high-quality early learning, including kindergarten, long day care, maternal health care, allied health and related services in safe and inclusive spaces.
The centre is based on the “Our Place” model developed by the Colman Foundation, an organisation that supports the achievement of improved social outcomes by placing education at the heart of a disadvantaged community.
The Early Years Plan is the second of four separate stages, including secondary education, primary education and tertiary education and skills that make up the complete Shepparton Education Plan, into which the Victorian Government has invested more than $140 million.
More information about the Shepparton Education Plan – Stage Two can be found here.