Improved Connections

Improved Service and School Connections with Families

There is strong evidence that access to health and social care is the most significant community and family based protective factor available for children from antenatal through to primary school. The Improved Service and School Connections project is focused on improving access for families to these supports by co-locating them within schools where families already have connections and are safe spaces, as part of the Community School model. Research tells us that integrating services into schools addresses health, welfare and education needs of children and young people more effectively. Families can access services early and easily.

The working group has a broad representation of services including, Libraries ACT, CRCS, Canberra Health Services, EACH, UnitingCare Kippax, Yerrabi Yurwang, Ginninderry, and University of Canberra.

Engaging the ECEC Sector in Belconnen

Village is actively building stronger connections with government and non-government services, ECECs, schools, playgroups, parents, and carers—essentially, all parts of the Early Years system. This commitment
involves listening to the needs of educators, children and families and collaborating to improve the overall system.

In the second half of 2023, Village initiated consultations with the 33 ECECs across Belconnen, establishing connections with 22 ECECs by end of November. Through these consultations, Village aimed to understand the pressing needs of the educators, child, and families, share the transitions and child development resources, and enhance connections among the players in the Early Years system.

ARACY has been engaged to analyse the outcomes of these consultations and a comprehensive report is available for viewing here

Improved Service and School Connections with Families Working Group


This project aims to make it as easy as possible for parents and carers to raise their children by bringing together health, community and education providers to improve accessibility to child and family support services and resources.


  • In the short term this project will contribute in identifying and reducing typical barriers to engagement with services and fostering collaboration and connections between families, schools, playgroup networks, the community services sector and government agencies. 
  • In the medium term this project will support in developing a coordinated and collaborative approach to providing service and program support to families 
  • In the long term this project will develop strategies to improve accessibility and relationships with child and family support services.


  • Improve accessibility and relationships with child and family support services,
  • Improve collaboration between services, and
  • Improve relationships between families and schools before formal schooling begins.
  • In turn it is hoped that, in meeting the above, parent’s knowledge of child development and positive parenting practices will also improve.

Improved Service and School Connections with Families Progress

In 2022 and early 2023 the Working Group collaborated with Evatt Primary School to develop and trial The Collective. The Collective involved a range of community services co-locating at Evatt on a weekly basis to connect, collaborate and support the delivery of targeted and coordinated services to meet the needs of the local community. The Collective formed part of Evatt Family Connect which is a project designed and delivered by Evatt primary school and supports families in the local area to build connections and better understand and access support services. The Collective connected services with the school to help meet Evatt community needs.

Critical to the success of this collaboration and concept has been the strongly aligned vision that the school leadership team have had in seeing this idea evolve from concept to implementation. Also the willingness of services to co-locate within the school and work with the school and each other to support families where they are already connected and comfortable. 

With Family Connect successfully up and running, in mid 2023 it was agreed by the Working Group and Evatt primary to explore hosting The Collective at a new venue to expand and broaden access to others working with children and families. 

Improved Service and School Connections with Families Working Group Members