About A Village
for Every Child

Making a Collective Impact

Belconnen is program rich and system poor.
Together, we’re changing the system.

About 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 are we doing this work?

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!

1

Physical
Children can physically cope and have energy to get through the school day, are generally independent and have excellent motor skills.

2

Social
Children can get along, work, or play with other children, are respectful to adults, are self-confident, and able to follow class routines.

3

Emotional
Children are rarely aggressive, anxious or show impulsive behaviour, they do have good concentration and often help other children.

4

Language and cognitive skills
Children are interested in books, reading and writing, and basic math; capable of reading and writing simple sentences and complex words. Will be able to count and recognise numbers and shapes.

5

Communication skills and general knowledge
Children have excellent communication skills, can tell a story and communicate easily with both children and adults.

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.’

A Village for Every Child history

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.