Early Years Services

 

From the time a pregnancy is confirmed, Mallee District Aboriginal Services has a network of specialist services in Mildura, Swan Hill and Kerang to support mothers and families through early parenthood.Our midwives and the Koori Maternity Service provide the initial point-of-contact for linking families to Early Years support.

 

Intensive in-Home Support

Intensive in-Home Support workers support mothers and families from conception to when the child turns three years of age.

Clients are referred from the Koori Maternity service, self-refer or be referred from other agencies.

The support workers assist with parenting information and demonstrations.

As part of the parenting program, we help and advise new mums on breast feeding, sleep patterns, bathing and care of baby, immunisation, health checks (not only for the baby, but for mothers too) and the importance of a parent's care and interaction with reading, songs and games to help a child's development.

We do an annual Preschool visit so that parents can see and understand the working of a Kinder and the importance for their children to attend once they are 3 years old.

We transport mums when they have appointments for health, dental, school, etc. We advocate for them, should they want us to.

As a part of our support, we run a group so mothers and their children have an opportunity to socialise together and talk to other mothers and their children. We serve a healthy lunch and the idea is to make mums feel at home throughout their visit. As a group, we like to have fun and a laugh while making sure that mums are supervising their children in our wonderful play area.

 

 

Supported Play Group

The Supported Play Group Program aims to provide culturally-appropriate playgroups at various external locations and times. A range of activities are applied to each play group session, including active play, imagination, role play and educational games/toys as well as arts and crafts activities.

The Supported Play Group workers engage with families using an assertive outreach approach to support and assist with educating children. Some liaison services can be offered to families to assist with connecting into other family service programs and kindergarten programs as needed.

Referrals can also be forwarded to appropriate community support services including specialist services.

 

Home Based Learning (HBL)

When children turn three years old, the Home Based Learning worker takes on the education role. Parents are visited in their homes and children are prepared for kinder or school.

 

Koori Preschool Assistant (KPSA)

The Koori Preschool Assistant Program supports attendance of Koori children in kindergarten services, encourages Koori community involvement in the development and delivery of kindergarten services for Koori children, and assists with the development of a kindergarten program that embraces Koori culture.

Our objectives are to:

  • Enhance support for indigenous children and their families to actively participate in kindergarten programs.
  • Promote the value of, and participation in, kindergarten to indigenous children and their families.
  • Support the work of the Koori Early Childhood field officer in encouraging the inclusion of indigenous families.
  • Build the capacity of the early childhood sector to provide culturally relevant early childhood information and resource to support indigenous families across Victoria.
  • Maintain accurate files of the indigenous children which attend kindergarten.
  • Help parents find a suitable kindergarten for their child/children.