Posted on 28. Oct, 2010 in Clayton Update

Four innovative programs based in Springvale, Darebin, Geelong and Parkville are the winners in the 2010 State Early Years Awards presented last night.

Congratulating the four winners and 10 finalists at a ceremony at the National Gallery of Victoria, Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Maxine Morand said the calibre of this year’s entries was outstanding.

“The Early Years Awards, now in their fifth year, recognise the exceptional contribution of community partnerships towards improving the health, learning, development and wellbeing of young children,” she said.

“Winning projects this year range from an intervention program that has helped improve infant sleep patterns and reduce postnatal depression in mothers in the critical first year to an early identification program to detect kindergarten children’s language difficulties.

“The Early Years Awards provide a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the strength of Victoria’s world-class early childhood services and recognise the outstanding work in innovation and reform that is happening across the state.

“These awards provide an opportunity to recognise high-quality programs that are making a difference to children and families in their local area.

“I congratulate all of the finalists for their valuable contribution to improving outcomes for children from birth to eight years.”

This year’s award categories were Better Access to Early Years Services and Partnerships with Families and Communities. Two special Minister’s awards were also presented.

The winners each received a framed certificate and $15,000 for professional development.

Category 1: Better Access to Early Years Services


Project name/organisation Description of project Award
Springvale Service for Children Integrated service, including childcare, kindergarten, playgroups, toy library, Maternal and Child Health Service and access to bilingual aides for families in the City of Dandenong Winner
Merriang Special Developmental School – Collaborate, Connect, Communicate Reconfiguring speech therapy for all students through a collaborative approach with parents, staff and specialist services to deliver communication programs at the early years campus Finalist
Cardinia Shire Council – PlayStart Van Travelling van filled with toys and equipment for children up to five years and a playgroup leader supporting playgroups in isolated and rural communities Finalist
Dallas Primary School & Kindergarten    The Dallas Community Hub has helped families of children aged birth to 12 years to access a range of services, including maternal and child health, playgroups and kindergarten. The initiative has used joint curriculum planning, bilingual teacher aides and community activities to help the transition to school and promote early learning. Highly commended
Mornington Peninsula Shire – Young Parents Program Program to empower and support young parents to better engage with Maternal and Child Health Service and their peers using social networking and outreach methods  Finalist
Hume City Council  Maternal and Child Health Outreach Model. Targeting families who had not accessed maternal and child health services by linking families with playgroups, kindergartens, long day care, primary schools and a range of specialist and allied health and community services Highly Commended
Darebin Community Health Promoting Oral language in Kindergartens: helping early years services and families in the early identification of language difficulties and using everyday activities to develop oral language skills Minister’s Award


Partnerships with Families and Communities:

Project name Description of project Award
Wathaurong Aboriginal Co-operative in Geelong – Mingo Waloom-Koori Kinda Kit Practical tools to help kindergarten teachers implement cultural activities into their program and make local kindergartens more welcoming for Aboriginal families Winner
City of Casey – CASEY Dads Matter Resources celebrating the role of dads, stepdads and grandfathers and a community-wide activity program encouraging them to interact and bond with children Finalist
City of Ballarat – Promoting Breastfeeding Project Promoting breastfeeding to improve the health of infants and working with local businesses to promote the practice Highly Commended
Melton Shire Council – Mum & Me Making Early Years Services Work Within a Correctional Facility: a supported playgroup and day care program for children of mothers in the Dame Phyllis Frost Centre Highly commended
Corio Bay Senior College – The HUB Initiative The HUB Initiative for young parents under 25: a multi-faceted program for teenage parents and newly arrived and Karen refugees to stay engaged with education and access parenting support, child care and social activities. Highly commended
University of Melbourne Early Learning Centre: The Early Years Coping Cards Helping to develop a shared language of coping with a range of everyday issues affecting children aged three to eight years Highly commended
Centre for Community Child Health, Royal Children’s Hospital – Program for Maternal Child Health Nurses to improve sleep patterns in babies and reduce the rates of post-natal depression in mothers by 30 per cent Minister’s Award

Comments are closed.