Sector development program
The sector development program supports the early childhood education workforce through offering free training, support and resources to build the capacity of services consistent with NSW priorities.
This benefits the early childhood education sector by assisting services to improve and develop their staff and enhance their capabilities. The program of support includes providing new reference and training materials, guidance on the 600 hour business operating model, and developing 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 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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
To apply for Bicultural Support, preschools should please contact the Ethnic Community Services Co-operative:
Phone: 02 9569 1288
Completion of an application form is required, which can be found on the Ethnic Community Services Co-operative website.