TasCOSS is continuing to work as a partner on Working Together (WT) — supporting early learning, an initiative of the Department of Education which aims to open opportunity for eligible three year old children to participate in free, quality early learning. We talked with many families throughout the pilot last year, and are again helping to collect and share the voice of family participants throughout 2020.
TasCOSS’s role in this project is to ensure the voices and experiences of families, parents and carers inform WT program design. The Department has published our report on Key Findings from Conversations with Families: School Transition on their website.
From families involved in the pilot last year, we heard much enthusiasm for the benefits they’d seen for themselves and their children. The satisfaction ratings below are taken from our report, and are an average of 12 families’ scores where 5 was the highest rating. The top successes and challenges noted by families under each of these areas are identified in green and red respectively.
Most families said they felt WT had been a real help in preparing for kindergarten. It had helped many to build and maintain routines, and to overcome separation issues which made starting school much easier.
Families really appreciated the holistic supports that are built into WT through connection to educators, engagement workers, and other service professionals. They also valued the support from connections in the community throughout their year in WT.
We also heard about areas where work still needs to be done, including clarity on developmental expectations for children heading to school and ensuring sustained support for the transition to school to smooth issues with changed or interrupted routines.
WT presents an opportunity to be a significant driver of change in education in Tasmania. Understanding what works to overcome educational barriers enables good practice to be embedded this into the state’s learning culture. What can emerge from this is a generation of children and young people in Tasmania with access to a different future: a future in which confident, creative young people thrive in strong, connected communities.
If you would like more information, please visit the WT website (www.education.tas.gov.au/wt).