Foundation House wins Early Years Award with East Sunshine Kindergarten
The Foundation House Early Years team were delighted to receive a 2016 Victorian Early Years Award in partnership with East Sunshine Kindergarten, at a ceremony with Victorian Minister for Children and Families Jenny Mikakos. The awards ceremony was held at the National Gallery of Victoria on October 18. Presenting the Early Years award, Minister Mikakos said “The time to shape lives starts during early childhood and these individuals and organisations have all had a lasting impact on children across Victoria. The Early Years Awards celebrate the hard work and dedication of some of our most inspiring early years professionals.”
Now in their eleventh year, the awards recognise exceptional contributions that individuals and organisations make to improve the learning and development of young children and providing support for families. Foundation House and the East Sunshine Kindergarten received the award in the “Improving Access and Participation in Early Learning Award” category, winning $15,000 for the kindergarten to use within its program.
The Foundation House award submission outlined work conducted with the kindergarten as part of the Early Childhood Access and Participation Project (ECAP). The ECAP undertook work with early years services in the City of Brimbank and the Chin community (from Burma). The project brought to light the significant barriers that newly-arrived families face in accessing the services that support children’s early learning and development. The specific work with East Sunshine Kindergarten supported the kindergarten staff to make significant changes in their work with Chin families. The award narrative declared that “This (project) has created a welcoming, supportive environment where Chin families are now highly involved in all activities from working bees and transition days to being parent helpers. The kindergarten employs bicultural staff, provides practical support and has strong connections to many community agencies, the Chin church and feeder primary schools.”
The Foundation House Early Years team look forward to using the learnings of the ECAP to have a broader impact on the ability of newly arrived families to participate in services for pre-school aged children.
To read the full Early Childhood Access and Participation Project report click here