Sector development program

The sector development program supports the early childhood education workforce by offering free training, support and resources to build the capacity of services in line with NSW priorities.

The sector development program benefits the early childhood education sector by assisting services to provide programs which support staff development and to enhance their capabilities. The program includes providing new reference and training materials, guidance on the 600 hour business operating model, and how to develop inclusive practices that support the diverse needs of children.

Programs for 2017/18 include:

Professional development grants

Community preschools are invited to apply for a one-off grant for educators to engage in professional development opportunities. Priority will be given to rural and remote services, services with a high proportion of equity enrolments, services currently under the Service Safety Net, and those submitting applications for activities that contribute towards teacher accreditation and peer-to-peer learning exchange.

The 2017 Early Childhood Professional development grants are designed to improve access to professional development opportunities for early childhood education staff employed in centre-based preschools and mobile preschools. The grants will enhance the knowledge and skills needed to ensure the delivery of quality early childhood education. Applications for these grants have now closed .

Professional development opportunities

Based on feedback from the sector, four training courses are now being offered free of charge to staff from approved community preschools and mobile preschools, with a focus on the following topic areas:

  • One of the kids: Understanding and supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in mainstream preschools

This workshop will explore the way in which early childhood professionals understand and support children with ASD in group settings. Participants will gain an understanding of brain development in children with ASD, the importance of imitation, how to monitor and support child participation in the preschool program, how to embed intervention in a mainstream early education setting and how to interpret and respond to challenging behaviours.

Completing One of the Kids: Understanding and supporting children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in mainstream preschools will contribute to 5 hours of NESA endorsed training.

For more information and to register to attend, please visit the KU website.

  • ·Understanding and responding to challenging behaviour: strategies to support children who have experienced trauma

Educators often work with children with extreme behaviours that appear to have no apparent trigger. Often these children don’t respond to traditional behaviour management techniques because they might be the result of the neurobiological impact of a child’s exposure to trauma. During this workshop participants will learn about recent research which reveals the root cause and meaning of these challenging behaviours. They will also discuss strategies which help children develop the cognitive, social and emotional skills required to behave in ways which are functional for them, their peers and the learning environment.

Completing Understanding and responding to challenging behaviour: strategies to support children who have experienced trauma will contribute to 5 hours of NESA endorsed training.

For more information and to register to attend, please visit the KU website.

  • ·Leadership Development

This program provides leadership development training to managers and directors of community preschools, including team building, and strategies for improving communication and reducing conflict within teams.

The training program consists of a series of events including face-to-face tutorials and workshops, web conferences, and telephone coaching and mentoring. The full day face-to-face sessions include the NESA registered “Communications and Effective Teams” training for teachers that will contribute 3 hours to accreditation.

Participants will engage in collective learning facilitated by CCSA staff with specialised knowledge, experience and expertise in preschool operation and professional practice. Coaching and mentoring support will then be available to participants in relation to improving leadership, communication and conflict in their own preschool, and embedding improvements in the service.

A range of resources including checklists, templates and other tools will be provided.

For more information and to register to attend, please visit the CCSA website.

  • ·Financial Systems and Processes

This program delivers support and resources to community preschools in financial systems and processes including bookkeeping, budgeting, accounts and payroll. This training takes a broad approach, and is suitable for members of management committees, directors, and administration staff with responsibility for financial management and processing.

A workshop covering key financial processes in an early childhood context will include a self-audit of existing systems and processes. A series of webinars will provide in-depth information expanding on the concepts presented in the workshops. Online support will be available from CCSA’s experienced BAS  Agents to assist participants integrate improved financial systems and processes in their preschool.

Participants will be provided with a range of resources including a self-audit tool, checklists, calculators, templates and other tools.

For more information and to register to attend, please visit the CCSA website.

Extension of the Ngroo Walking Together Program

Aboriginal families still experience barriers to accessing early childhood education. Ngroo Walking Together empowers services to remove these barriers. providing cultural education training, self-assessment cultural audit tools, advice on the development of an action plan to increase Aboriginal enrolments, and culturally relevant resource kits.

Ngroo Education has partnered with the department to offer services the opportunity to participate in a program to increase enrolments of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children for 600 hours per year, under the Start Strong initiative.

Based on the Walking Together model - which listens to the needs of both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal stakeholders – the program combines cultural training with an audit and action plan to prepare services to respectfully engage with the local Aboriginal community to achieve increased enrolments. The emphasis is on breaking down barriers and forming meaningful relationships.

For more information: phone (02) 9835 6056 or email ngrooeducation@gmail.com.

Start Strong Community Safety Net

The Community Safety program will provide a mechanism to establish early childhood education programs in very remote regions of NSW currently without access to early education A pilot program is being developed for 2017/18.

Bicultural Support program

The Bicultural Support program has been developed to support community preschools to assist with the inclusion of children from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD), refugee or Aboriginal backgrounds. The program is delivered by the Ethnic Community Services Co-operative.

The program is designed to offer language and cultural assistance to children, families and educators, to support inclusive cultural practice in preschools. A nominated support worker attends the preschool where support is requested and works with the child, family and educators to help the child settle in. Fifteen hours of Bicultural Support is available to help a child settle in to the preschool.

The program is designed to assist preschools by raising awareness of cultural practices, ensuring better communication between children, families, educators and early childhood services and supporting children in their transition to school.

Applications:
To apply for Bicultural Support, preschools should please contact the Ethnic Community Services Co-operative:

Email: biculturalsupport@ecsc.org.au
Phone:  02 9569 1288

Completion of an application form is required, which can be found on the Ethnic Community Services Co-operative website.

Return to top of page