Working Together for 3 Year Olds – FAQ for Parents
Working Together for 3 Year Olds (WT3) is an opportunity for three year olds in Tasmania to participate in free quality early learning.
Children can access up to 15 hours a week of early learning from March to December 2019.
Enrolments are open in February 2019 for children born between 2 January 2015 and 31 March 2016 and who are not currently attending an early learning centre.
Children may join WT3 if their parents have a:
- Health Care card and/or
- are receiving support from Child Safety Services and/or
are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.
When children are enrolled in WT3 there is no cost to parents or carers. Some centres may give children lunch or you may need to pack a lunch for your child. Your child can wear any comfortable clothing that they like to play in so you don’t need to buy a uniform.
Children who are in early learning show improved outcomes, such as increased social connections and skills to help them get ready for school. It also gives you some time-out for yourself
WT3 connects you with:
- friendly early childhood professionals and other families
- services in your community.
It is normal for parents to feel anxious about their child’s safety when they attend an early learning centre. Centres focus on children’s safety and have strict rules about who can pick up children. Your family information will be kept securely and will not be shared without your permission.
To help your child settle-in you can spend time with them when you drop them off at the early learning centre, and this will also help you get to know the team of early childhood educators.
The early learning centre’s friendly staff make it easy and can help you enrol to take the pressure off. Information will not be shared with anyone without your permission.
The friendly team members at the early learning centres are professionally trained and have skills in supporting children to develop. They understand each child has different needs and they can support you and your child with strategies based on your goals. They can share these ideas with you so your child can use them both at the centre and at home.
The friendly team know that getting up and out the door can be a challenge with young children and can help you with setting up a routine that works for you and your child.
We’ve heard loud and clear that transport is a big issue for a lot of families. Unfortunately WT3 doesn’t have funding for day to day transport for children accessing WT3 places, so early learning service providers may not be able to support you to travel to the centre. What they can do though is help you to look at all the options available in your local area.
If you’re having trouble getting to the centre, talk with staff about what the options are in your area and the ways other families have found to get there and back.
A team of friendly professionals are there to support you. Some parents experiencing anxiety or depression have shared that although they were nervous at first when taking their child to a centre, seeing their child thrive makes it all worthwhile.
Having a child attend an early learning centre also means you can have some time-out for yourself.
You can talk to the centre team about what days and times you require for your child to attend and work out the best plan.
Young children learn most effectively through play and research shows that children’s brains develop more in the first five years of life than in any other period. Professionally trained early childhood educators observe all the children in their care and they will design a program that gives your child the opportunity to learn and practice new skills.
Programs led by friendly early childhood educators support your child’s development through activities like:
- story time
- sports games
- sand and water play
- dance and music