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WORKING TOGETHER FOR 3 YEAR OLDS

Working together to achieve our shared goal of supporting three year olds in Tasmania to be confident and creative, and to thrive in strong, connected communities.

Introduction

From January 2019, regular updates will be published on the Department of Education’s website and shared more broadly. From August this year, communication has been primarily conversations with service directors in early childhood education and care services, parents and carers of three year olds and key community service organisations.

Pilot on track for 2019

In order to meet the commitment of commencement in 2020, we will undertake a piloting process in five locations from February – July 2019.

On 12 November 2018 the Hon Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training, announced the five pilot locations:

o    Glenorchy

o    Devonport

o    Kingborough – with a focus on Kingston and Blackmans Bay

o     Derwent Valley

o    Launceston – with a focus on Mowbray, Rocherlea and Newnham

This combination of locations will allow for a range of Tasmanian conditions to be tested, in preparation for the initiative to be scaled-up for state wide delivery from 2020.

The goal for the pilot is to enrol 50 three year olds who are not currently engaged in early learning. Each child will have access to 400 hours of free early learning over the 2019 calendar year.  A range of wellbeing-related wrap-around services are also envisaged as part of the Working Together for 3 Year Olds (WT3) initiative. The pilot parameters are being developed in consultation with service providers in the five pilot locations.

Phase 1 Consultations with families

In the spirit of true co-design, children and families will be involved in the design and development of this initiative. In partnership with TasCOSS and in collaboration with a range of community services, WT3 has consulted 100 parents/carers to date. In the coming months, the project team will continue to walk alongside and listen to parents and carers and involve them in the pilot and local enabling groups (LEGs).

Working together with the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector

Throughout October – November 2018 the WT3 project team has made direct phone and/or email contact with 150 service directors of ECEC services across Tasmania. These services are regulated under the National Quality Framework or licensed under the Child Care Act 2001.

Each service was provided with an update on the initiative and received an invitation to complete an online survey with the goal of better understanding their interest, readiness and development needs in relation to WT3 delivery. The response to the survey has been overwhelmingly positive and has offered very helpful input for the draft pilot parameters. Thank you to those who completed the survey – your time and input is greatly valued.

A round table has been scheduled in each of the five pilot locations for November – December 2018 to work through the draft pilot parameters. The services operating in these locations that meet the WT3 delivery criteria of at least ‘meeting’ the National Quality Standard Quality Areas of 1, 5, and 6, have been invited. Additionally these services have been invited to participate in a co-design workshop with families and key local community stakeholders in December 2018.

The Department will work with each service that wishes to be involved in the pilot to forge a delivery partnership around the finalised pilot parameters.

Co-design

The definition of co-design that WT3 has adopted is:

Increasing impact by working with people, families, and stakeholders, enabling outcomes that matter to them. Dr Penny Hagan, Co-design Lead, Auckland Co-design Lab.

The Department is delighted to be working with the Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) as our co-design facilitation partners.

We believe that the best innovations come from working alongside the people who face the very challenges we’re trying to solve … Innovation is not the end game. Our ambition is people living their best life and having every opportunity to reach their potential.”

The Phase 2 WT3 co-design workshops will be facilitated in each of the five pilot locations in the first two weeks of December 2018. The workshops will bring children, parents/caregivers and providers together to develop relationships, explore ‘how might we’…?‘ and ‘what if’…?’ questions, test some initial ideas and deepen our shared understandings.

The workshops in Kingston, Glenorchy and New Norfolk were highly collaborative. Some initial feedback includes:

“It feels like we are making something together”

“I’m trying to get comfortable with being uncomfortable”

“This is bigger than I imagined”

“I’m starting to see it’s not about having all the answers before we start. But together we can work it out”

“What’s new about this way of working is the level of collaboration. We’re not on our own trying to figure things out anymore”

“What I’m excited about is actually creating value with and for the people who most need it”

Images from the Kingston co-design workshop on 3 December 2018.

We look forward to continuing to work with key stakeholders to achieve our goal of supporting three year olds in Tasmania to be confident and creative, and to thrive in strong, connected communities.

For more information please contact:

 

Louise Looby, Project Officer louise.looby@education.tas.gov.au

Tess Dryza, Project Manager tess.dryza@education.tas.gov.au

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