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Collie Early Years Network “It takes a village to raise a child.” African Proverb Melanie Whitfield May 2011.

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Presentation on theme: "Collie Early Years Network “It takes a village to raise a child.” African Proverb Melanie Whitfield May 2011."— Presentation transcript:

1 Collie Early Years Network “It takes a village to raise a child.” African Proverb Melanie Whitfield May 2011

2 Forming the Network  The Collie Early Years Network was formed in February of 2008, to bring together individuals, organisations and agencies that have an interest and passion for the early years.  The network includes parents with an interest in the Early Years and representatives from Department of Education and Training, The Shire of Collie, Department for Communities, GP Down South, Child Health- Community Health Services, The Smith Family, Collie Family Centre, The Collie Library, Disability Services Commission, Local Playgroups, Collie Child Care and Early Learning Centre, Jenni’s House Family Day Care, Early Learning Areas from each of the 5 local Primary Schools.

3 Terms of Reference 1.Support healthy family environments and foster positive parenting skills through giving consideration to factors influencing a child’s wellbeing such as: a)Socioeconomic factors b)Level of stress and support experienced by the family c)Level and intensity of a child’s learning experiences d)Parental mental health e)Family functioning f)Parenting style.

4 Terms of Reference 2.Partnerships are established within Collie and surrounding areas, across agencies and within communities to ensure a cohesive approach is achieved in providing services to children and families in the early years, by: a)Promoting awareness of relevant services for families at risk. b)Promote awareness of agencies/services to the community.

5 Terms of Reference 3.Promote and advocate developmentally appropriate experiences that enrich the early years across all domains- social/emotional, cognitive, motor skills, creative. a)The intrinsic worth of early childhood is valued. b)Parents and families have inherent strengths. c)Communities contribute to and assist families improve the overall wellbeing of children in the early years. d)Quality care and nurturing is fundamental for all children to achieve their potential. e)Working collaboratively offers the best opportunity for achieving optimal outcomes for children. f)The diversity of communities is valued.

6 Challenges Funding: All of our projects are funded individually. Coordinator works as volunteer (Roughly 15 hrs a week). This has prevented the growth of the group. Promotion: Our community newspaper is poorly utilised by our demographic. Advertising in Collie Mail is expensive. Changes in Staff: Child Health Nurses and Collie Family Centre Staff have recently changed. GP’s and Midwives overworked and therefore unable to support CEYN by promoting services consistently. Conflict between community groups with and early years interest: Partnerships are at times difficult to form.

7 Key Initiatives of the Collie Early Years Network

8 Detailing services, groups and businesses in the Collie area that catered for or maintained an interest in the early years of life (0-5). This is a free service. Groups are asked to fill out a form detailing the services they provide. This information is included in the directory FREE of charge. The Directory and Fridge Magnet are issued to Community Groups, Businesses, and Services that interact with families of children aged 0-5 and to parents through the Parent Information Packs given to new mothers in hospital, at the Dinner for Dads and Dads to Be, at CEYN Events. The Collie Early Years Directory and Fridge Magnet. Sponsored By:

9 The Kids In Collie Newsletter Is issued bi-monthly. Announces items of interest, activities and events for families of children aged 0-5. Issued through Primary Schools, Child Care Services, Child Health Services, Doctor’s Surgeries, Collie Library, Roche Park Recreation Centre and the PCYC as well as at CEYN events, in the Parent Information Packs, at Dinner for Dads and Dads- To-Be etc. Printed by the Shire of Collie.

10 Collie Early Years Calendar Contains information with a focus on the early years of life including: photographs of local children participating in activities within Collie, important dates, annual community events, parenting tips, inspirational quotes for parents, craft activity ideas, recipes, and information on relevant services within the Collie community. These were launched at the Children’s Week events and are sold through local newsagents, child health clinics, the Collie library, schools and by members of the Network. This was a not for profit venture although a small cost is charged to cover printing.

11 Information Folders for New Parents Initially compiled to accompany the Meals on Wheels for New Mums. Now given to New Mothers at the Collie Hospital during their stay. If a baby is born outside of Collie the parents receive them with their meals. Includes the CEYN Directory and Fridge Magnet, The latest edition of the Kids In Collie Newsletter, A CEYN Calendar, CEYN Pamphlets, Meals Gift Vouchers, Playgroup Information, Breast Feeding Information, General Child Development Information.

12 Children's Week Celebrations 2009 & 2010 In 2009 and 2010 the CEYN hosted an event to celebrate Children’s Week to promote the Collie Early Years Network and other services, groups or initiative operating in town for the 0- 5 age group. In its first year 100 families attended, this grew to 150+ last year. Groups were invited to host displays, demonstrations or activities. We provided a bouncy castle, Merry-Go- Rounds, Face Painting, Balloon Twisting, Craft and Sport activities. The feedback from parents and groups involved were overwhelming positive.

13 Meals On Wheels For New Mums The objectives for the program are: Improve psychological well-being and reduce stress levels. Encourage breastfeeding by having additional time and reduced stress in the first few weeks. Benefit breastfeeding as well as the health and well being of the family. Strengthen community spirit. Reduce Maternal Isolation Provide an opportunity to mentor and support.

14 The Referral Process 1.When Child Health Nurse makes initial contact with a family when a baby is born they give the family a Gift Voucher from the CEYN. 2.The client then calls the CEYN to organise a date and time for delivery. 3.The CEYN ask basic questions about food allergies, dietary requirements, hazards that may be present during delivery etc. 4.CEYN contact Meals on Wheels at Collie Home Support and place order. 5.CEYN Coordinator collects meals from Meals on Wheels Kitchen and delivers them to clients home at agreed time.

15 Feedback “ Was great- for a couple of nights we did not have to think about dinners. Felt like a break/ treat. Gave my husband and I more time to relax together.” “Allowed me more time to do other family things instead of having to cook.” “This was an absolutely great program. Knowing I didn’t have to cook 2 nights meant that I got to spend more time with the kids and I was definitely less stressed. I would recommend it to all new mums.” “Well organized, excellent idea, a meal you don’t have to worry about when you have a new baby is a fantastic thing. Thank you to those who made it possible.”

16 Dinner for Dads and Dads- To-Be Project Goals Raise awareness of the importance of fathers in their children’s lives. Promote healthy positive relationships between parents to be. Foster true partnerships between parents. Acknowledge the emotional stresses, expectations an impending birth places on fathers. Ease anxiety felt by fathers. Build self esteem in fathers.

17 Fathers can discuss: o Their concerns about fatherhood. o How to support their partner during labour and their role during the first 6 weeks after birth. Held at a local licensed venue this provides neutral grounds for open and frank discussion about the impact of a new baby on family relationships. Places the focus firmly on the fathers and their expectations and fears of the upcoming challenges and joys of child birth and the following six weeks after labour.

18 Feedback “ Casual and relaxed atmosphere was good and was the reason I came. Would definitely come again.” “Will definitely come along and support this again... Next time as an ‘experienced’ dad!” “Great to meet other ‘dad’s to be’. Would be great to get together once babies are born.”

19 Collie Early Years Network PO Box 637, Collie, WA, 6225 Ph: 9734 2298/ 0403 313 517

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