A Village for Every Child
Making a Collective Impact
Belconnen is program rich and system poor.
Together, we’re changing the system.
A Village for Every Child
Belconnen – A Village for Every Child is an initiative that aims to improve systems across Belconnen so that children are physically healthy, socially and emotionally strong, and ready to engage in learning and life.
We want ALL families to feel supported, empowered and equipped for raising children.
We want services and supports to be easily accessible and available for ALL children and families if and when they need them. We are working with a number of agencies, both government and non-government, that provide essential care and support to children and families.
Village uses a Collective Impact framework that operates outside the system, working with those in the system to bring about change.
Why we do what we do?
Early childhood is a time of rapid change –particularly for the development of a child’s brain. These early years are critical for lifelong learning and wellbeing and set children up for a successful start to school and life.
In Belconnen, approximately 1 in 3 children don’t start school ready. We know this because the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) gathers information about all children in kindergarten to measure a range of developmental areas (see below) that they start developing during their time in the womb. If a child isn’t doing well in one or more of these areas, they may find it difficult to engage well in learning and life. We know that the early years is when we have the greatest opportunity to have an impact on a child’s future. We want to see ALL children thrive!
In Belconnen, there are more than 110 child and family services. Despite all the efforts, many children in Belconnen are still falling behind. Village is looking at how to change the system to best support families with children in these vital early years by bringing these services and programs together in a way that improves connections and accessibility.
‘We want to make a significant impact on the outcomes of children in Belconnen, with a specific focus on the first 1,000 days through to starting full-time education.’
In 2015, several organisations operating primarily in the West Belconnen area came together to establish the West Belconnen Local Services Network (WBLSN). WBLSN was focused on improving the local community’s opportunities and activities, so that the community would be stronger and more connected.
One area of action for WBLSN was early childhood. This led to A Village for Every Child to exclusively focus on early intervention and early childhood as there was opportunity to make the biggest impact over the longest time.
In 2017, UnitingCare Kippax received funding from the ACT Education Directorate to establish the Backbone Team needed to implement a Collective Impact approach to the early childhood system in the Belconnen area. Since then, work has been done to establish the foundations of Village, including developing supporting theory and documentation as well as community consultation to inform our projects.