“It’s been an amazing experience. It’s broadened our way of thinking for all our families. It has changed practices for all families – not just those in Working Together.” Working Together 2019 ECEC service partner
Working Together is addressing barriers to participation and creating opportunities for children to learn, make friends and build confidence for a great start in life.
What is Working Together?
Working Together – supporting early learning is a Tasmanian Government initiative which is opening up opportunities for eligible children to participate in free, quality early learning in the year before they start kindergarten.
Our shared purpose is to develop confident and creative children, who thrive in strong, connected communities.
This is achieved by:
- Funding places in quality early learning centres (up to 400 hours per year for each child);
- Working in partnership with families, early childhood educators and community services to provide holistic support to address barriers to participation and achieve our shared purpose;
- Investing in professional learning for the Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) sector so they can best assist children and their families; and
- Building capacity through a collaborative approach between the Department of Education engagement workers, the Working Together core team, ECEC service partners, as well as community members, services and all levels of government.
The initiative fosters supportive connections to help parents and carers through the transition from home into early childhood education and then on to kindergarten.
Working Together was co-designed with families, the ECEC sector, community and government agencies and was piloted in 2019 as Working Together for 3 Year Olds. The pilot saw 55 three year olds enrolled across 10 Tasmanian long day care services from March to December 2019. An independent evaluation found the pilot to be highly effective in achieving positive outcomes for children, families as well as ECEC educators and services.
In 2020, Working Together will see the funding of 120 places for eligible children to engage in quality early learning, with a further 120 places opening in 2021. This means a total of 240 children will benefit from the initiative over the next two years.
What are the eligibility criteria for children?
To be eligible to participate in Working Together, children must be three years of age at the 1 January 2020, be in their year before kindergarten and not currently attending an ECEC service. They must also meet at least one of the following criteria:
- Have parents/primary carers who hold a Health Care Card and/or
- Be of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) descent and/or
- Receive support or interventions from the Child Safety Service and/or
- Meet two or more criteria under Parents’ Evaluation of Developmental Status (PEDS).
How do I refer families to participate?
If you know of families who have a child you believe would be eligible for Working Together in 2020 and/or have shown interest in being involved, please refer them by contacting one of the Working Together Engagement Workers in your region to discuss further.
Who are the service partners for 2020-21?
Following an expression of interest (EOI) process, the Minister for Education announced the Early Childhood Education and Care services who will partner with the Department of Education Tasmania to implement Working Together – supporting early learning in 2020-21.
The role our service partners play in Working Together is integral to achieving the best outcomes for the children involved and their families.
Please check the list of our education and care service providers.
How can my service get involved?
If your service is interested in being involved in Working Together, please contact Tess Dryza, Working Together Project Manager, on (03) 6165 5410 or firstname.lastname@example.org, to discuss future opportunities.
Who do I contact?
Service partners’ roles and grant related enquiries
Celia Bray – Project Officer
(03) 6165 6190 or email@example.com
Program integration and professional learning
Hayley Perkins – Early Learning Consultant
0436 922 435 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Complex family and community issues
Lauren Berry – Senior Social Worker
0436 922 164 or email@example.com
Media and communications
Sarah Weitnauer – Marketing & Communications Consultant
(03) 6165 8031 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim Tabart – Data Analyst and Project Support Officer
(03) 6165 6137 or email@example.com