SNAICC: New Community Partner for Connected Beginnings
The Connected Beginnings early years program is making progress in closing the gap by assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to access culturally safe early childhood services and supports.
Connected Beginnings currently operates at 33 sites around the country and, under additional investment from the Commonwealth Government, will expand to a total of 50 sites by 2025.
SNAICC – National Voice for our Children, was appointed as Community Partner for the program by the Department of Education in June 2022.
Connected Beginnings is targeted to children from birth to school age, and pregnant women. It aims to give children the support needed to help them meet the learning and development milestones that ensure a smooth start to formal schooling.
It has a strong place-based approach and is community-led, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and communities having a direct say in how activities are determined and delivered. It is jointly funded with the Department of Health.
The program supports all Closing the Gap priority reforms and focuses on three targets:
Children are born healthy and strong
Children are engaged in high quality,
culturally appropriate early childhood education
Children thrive in their early years
SNAICC’s role is to work with existing sites to determine what supports they need to improve outcomes for children in their region, facilitating transition to Aboriginal-community controlled backbone services where required.
SNAICC’s team also works with identified communities to establish new Connected Beginnings sites, assessing and developing community readiness, guided by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge and leadership.
A key focus of the Community Partner role is to facilitate ongoing networking and learning across the sites.
To assist this, the first National Gathering with SNAICC as the Community Partner was held last month in Meanjin/Brisbane, with more than 150 people from Connected Beginnings sites across the country sharing experiences and developing knowledge.
South Australian sites include Ceduna, Port Augusta and Salisbury/Playford.
SNAICC is the national non-governmental peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. They work for the fulfilment of the rights of our children, in particular to ensure their safety, development and well-being.
For any inquiries about Connected Beginnings, please contact the team at SNAICC at firstname.lastname@example.org
Originally published in Connected Caregiving Summer 2023