THE EARLY CHILDHOOD YEARS ARE AS IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN WITH DISABILITIES AND DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS AS THEY ARE FOR ALL CHILDREN.

Early Childhood Education and Care Services provide a range of learning and development opportunities that support each child’s learning and development. Programs are planned to respond to each child’s individual needs. The links below to provide you with additional information:

The Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF) supports all early childhood professionals in Victoria to work together with families to advance all children’s learning and development from birth to 8 years old. The framework has a vision for all children and recognises that children’s learning and development is supported and informed by their family.

The Maternal and Child Health Service supports your family in the areas of parenting, health and development and give you referrals to other professionals and link you with other families in your local community. You and your child will have regular appointments with the free service from birth until they reach school age.

Kindergarten Programs can improve your child’s development in language, literacy, numeracy and social skills. At kindergarten your child will learn, develop skills, and play in a safe and happy environment.

The Kindergarten Inclusion Support (KIS) Packages program supports kindergartens to build their capacity to provide for the inclusion of children with a disability and high support needs… To read more about this inclusion support for kindergartens follow this link to the Department of Education and Training website. 

Child Care – Each family is different; the early childhood service (child care) you choose will suit your own family’s needs. You want your child to feel safe and happy in someone else’s care. Learn about the different types of early childhood services to help you choose one that suits your family as well as about enrolment and fees. Follow the link to the Department of Education and Training Website. 

There are a range of types to choose from including:

The Inclusion Support Program assists Commonwealth government approved and eligible child care services to include children with additional needs by providing tailored inclusion advice and support from contracted inclusion specialists, as well as funding to support more challenging inclusion barriers.

The Association for Children with a Disability have a number of resources for parents on transitioning to school, parent support and navigating the disability journey.

The Amaze Association (Autism Victoria) has a number of Autism specific resources

Deaf Children Australia have a number of resources available for families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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QUALITY AND GOVERNANCE IN EARLY EDUCATION AND CARE SETTINGS

Early Childhood Education and Care includes long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care. Research shows that quality ECEC for children in their early years improves a child’s health, education and employment outcomes during childhood and later in life. Children need quality care and attention that meets their individual needs. These factors are particularly beneficial for very young children and those from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The Department of Education and Training regulates and assesses education and care services for young children in Victoria.

The National Quality Framework (NQF) introduces a new quality standard to improve education and care across Australia.