Goodstart Early Learning to expand EChO network to support more children

Goodstart Early Learning to expand EChO network to support more children

by Freya Lucas

May 05, 2022

Goodstart Early Learning, Australia’s largest early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider has announced that it will provide support services such as speech therapy, occupational therapy, and child and family practitioner support to more of its centres using  National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding. 

 

The aim, a statement from the provider read, is to ensure that all centres in its network have these types of services available “in the next few years”. 

 

Currently 40 services in the network have educators working alongside allied health teams to achieve an uplift in children with vulnerabilities as part of its Enhancing Children’s Outcomes (EChO) approach. 

 

The trial supports the NDIS’s Early Childhood Approach by working with local organisations known as Early Childhood Partners, in order to:

 

  • connect parents to early childhood intervention service providers;
  • share practical information about child development;
  • use provider expertise to understand the differences in learning and development that children might experience;
  • identify if children are likely to benefit from early support;
  • support families to apply to the NDIS by providing information and evidence for their application; and,
  • monitor children’s progress and support them to transition from the Early Childhood Approach.

 

By working together, Goodstart, Early Childhood Partners and families can make sure children have access to the services they need to have the best start in life.

 

As part of the model, families are afforded the following benefits: 

 

  • Accessibility and convenience. Days are not disrupted by running to and from appointments in other locations. Traditionally, waitlists for specialists are long, and appointments difficult to get to.

 

  • Secure and comforting environments. Families and children are in environments they are familiar with and trust. The service takes a lot of stress out of trying to navigate a complex system.

 

  • Teachers and educators who are better equipped to support both parents and children. Educators have the opportunity to see how children are progressing day-by-day, and can make changes to strategies to ensure they are effective.

 

  • Involved early learning professionals on a daily basis. They can help complete observations and assessments, and organise and report on the child’s plan and agreement.

 

  • One-on-one and group therapy sessions where the child is already happy and comfortable.

 

Access to the knowledge and experience of those in allied health positions is also a benefit for educators involved in the program, said Goodstart Early Learning’s National Lead for Social Inclusion Penny Markham. 

 

“When strategies are implemented together, children make more progress, and educators enjoy their roles more,” she explained.

 

“Our educators have an intent and passion to make a difference. Working directly with allied health experts helps them program and plan activities for individuals and their room, and supports them to do the best they can for the children in their care.”

 

To learn more about the EChO approach, please see here

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