Ieramagardu Pathways program extended improving ECEC and boosting employment
One Tree Community Services has announced the new Ieramagardu (Roebourne) Pathways Program which aims to improve outcomes for children while supporting parents with local training and employment.
Delivered thanks to support from the Woodside Development Fund, the co-designed program includes four new initiatives that build on the strength of existing local services; a bush kindy, a language program, creche and on-site mentor program.
“The Pathways Program is led by the community, and they will be at the centre of its future. The community can own the Pathways Program and have their say. It’s all for them, their children and the coming generations,” Gurlu Gurlu Maya Child and Parent Centre Co-ordinator Miranda Ihanimo said.
The program came about when parents in Roebourne identified that they need better access to early childhood development services, childcare, and local career pathways. The Roebourne Pathways Program has been created in conjunction with the community in response to this need.
Co-designed with the local community throughout 2021 and endorsed by the community-led 6718 Yandi for Change governance process earlier this year, the program brings together feedback and ideas from Elders, parents, the school and other local stakeholders to build a local program that fits the unique needs of the community.
In the bush kindy, children will learn on Country from local community members. The language program will teach Ngarluma and Yindjibarndi languages to children of all ages in both the long day care and the child and parent centre.
“The Pathways Program will improve learning outcomes for children while also giving parents a much-needed opportunity to upskill or train. This project supports local Aboriginal people to establish careers locally, especially in early education and care. There will always be a need for childcare professionals in Roebourne. We aim to hire local people for these roles,” said One Tree Community Services CEO Karri Hillier.
The creche will support families so parents can study or attend training in the child and parent centre while their children are cared for, while the mentor program focuses on building local capacity and leadership in early childhood education. It will support local trainees to complete their Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care.
“We believe in working with communities,” Ms Hillier said. “Inviting local people to become part of the solution provides the community with ownership over the outcomes. Together, we’re able to create more impactful programs. Importantly, it ensures we work alongside and learn from Aboriginal people as experts.”
This project has been made possible through funding from the Woodside Development Fund . Woodside CEO Meg O’Neill said Woodside has long recognised the importance of early childhood development for vulnerable children and the lack of programs to provide that in Roebourne.
“It was essential for Woodside that the program was co-designed with community and implemented by existing service provider One Tree Community Services, who has established relationships with Traditional Owners, families and local stakeholder organisations.
“By launching the Roebourne Pathways Program, we seek to ensure children have access to high quality, culturally responsive early learning opportunities and that they are ready to succeed in school. The training pathway support for local people aims to build on the critically important pool of early learning educators for the Pilbara.”
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