An Early Years Community Plan which aims to improve the wellbeing and school readiness of children living in Central Great Southern area was launched in Katanning on Friday as part of the Early Years Partnership (EYP) between the State Government, Minderoo Foundation, Telethon Kids Institute and the local community.
The ‘Children Growing Strong’ Central Great Southern Community Plan has been co-designed with local communities and forms a roadmap for change for children living in the shires of Katanning, Kojonup, Gnowangerup and Broomehill-Tambellup.
The local communities identified five priority areas to support child wellbeing and school readiness. They are:
- Child Health – improve the health of babies and children including reducing the number of preventable hospitalisations of children due to dental condition
- Child Development – increasing the number of children meeting developmental milestones and entering school developmentally ready
- Financial Wellbeing – increasing the number of families with children aged 0-4 who have a stable home and regular, nutritious meals
- Family Safety – reducing the number of children aged 0-4 who have interactions with family violence
- Maternal Health – improving access to and attendance at antenatal services to ensure mothers are healthy and babies have the best possible start to life
Almost 8500 people live in the Central Great Southern region, including approximately 553 children under the aged of four, of which 13 per cent are Aboriginal and 8.1 per cent are from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CaLD) families.
Department of Communities data shows approximately one in 10 very young children in this region experienced or witnessed family and domestic violence between December 2021 and November 2022. This ratio is even higher in the Shire of Katanning, where nearly one in every six children aged 0-4 experienced or witnessed family and domestic violence.
An Early Years Community Plan for Armadale West was launched in March, and work is underway for similar plans for Derby and Bidyadanga in the Kimberley.
The EYP is a 10-year partnership between the State Government and Minderoo Foundation to improve child wellbeing and school readiness for children aged 0-4 years across four communities, including the Central Great Southern region, where more than one in four children are considered developmentally vulnerable.
The $49.3 million project is also supported by the Commonwealth Government via the Commonwealth Connected Beginnings program. Badgebup Aboriginal Corporation is the Connected Beginnings partner in the Central Great Southern.
The EYP Central Great Southern Region Community Plan will be implemented in partnership with the local working party and other regional leaders. View the ‘Children Growing Strong’ plan at www.earlyyearspartnership.org.au.