SRF Program

  • Early Childhood Management Services Outreach Family Support (ORFS) Program

    VEYLDF Alignment

    Item uses these practice principles: Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Equity and diversity, Partnerships with professionals.

    Item responds to these sub-outcomes: Not applicable

    Description

    This program aims to increase kindergarten participation among vulnerable children by:
    • maximising the use of Early Start Kindergarten and Pre-Purchased Kindergarten places
    • collaborating with kindergarten services and support services
    • providing guidance, practical support and information to parents/carers and case managers about kindergarten provision and benefits
    • increasing educators' capacity and capability to work with families and children experiencing vulnerability, through coaching and mentoring.

    Detailed Costs

    Services in a region are encouraged to 'pool' a portion of their school readiness funding to cover set-up costs. These are about $164,000/year for a region. Please contact ECMS directly to determine the most cost-effective way to access support. 

    Implementation Considerations

    Target population: children known to child protection and family support services who are not attending early childhood services.
    Factors to consider: to participate, services must be rated at 'Meeting National Quality Standard' or higher. The program requires the employment of a family violence worker, case manager or social worker located at multiple services. Services should 'pool' school readiness funding to benefit from a collective regional program.
     
    Australian experience: the program was rolled out in the Brimbank Melton area in 2016/17. Set up took three months. It resulted in a 300 per cent increase in the uptake of Early Start Kindergarten places in the region.

    Priority Area

    Access and inclusion

    Strength of Evidence

    Level 6 - Supported by expert opinion