This guide describes the Early Childhood Access and Participation (ECAP) Project conducted by Foundation House, also known as the Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture (VFST) and supported by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. While the project focuses on early childhood services for Chin people from Burma who have settled in the City of Brimbank, the project model and its outcomes are useful for all communities from refugee backgrounds.
The guide is for policy makers and service providers. It describes a model that encourages dialogue between early childhood service providers and families from refugee backgrounds. Through those discussions, service
providers gain advice on how to make their services more accessible to the families, who, in turn, become more knowledgeable about services.
Section 1 reviews government policies and reports that are helpful references when promoting equitable access to early childhood services for families from refugee backgrounds. This material may be useful for policy makers. Section 2 describes a strengths-based model, which encourages refugee parents and service providers to work together to overcome access issues. Section 3 reports on the dialogue between Chin advisers and service providers that identifies access barriers experienced by Chin families in Brimbank and suggests strategies to overcome those barriers. The final section highlights ways in which agencies might encourage inclusive practices across the early childhood service system.
Victorian Foundation for Survivors of Torture Inc (June 2016). Document name: The Early Childhood Access and Participation Project: Talking with Chin Families from Burma about Early Childhood Services.