Giving children experiencing disadvantage the best start to their education.


October 13, 2022

Uniting Vic.Tas has launched an innovative early education program to provide more support to children at heightened risk or who are experiencing social disadvantage and significant family stress.

Federal Minister for Early Childhood Education and Youth The Hon Dr Anne Aly MP and Local Member for Richmond Richard Wynne MP, helped launch the SEED (Specialist Early Education and Development) program at Uniting Vic.Tas Cooke Court early learning centre in Richmond.

The centre will aim to reproduce the results of the Early Years Education research program with our partners The Parkville Institute, the Australian Government Department of Education, the Victorian Government and Yarra City Council.

Uniting Vic.Tas CEO Bronwyn Pike said the program has an intensive early intervention and care approach looking to equip vulnerable children with the learning and developmental support they need as they start their education journey.

“The results of the original trial showed significant improvement in children’s cognitive skills including language and speech, resilience, social and emotional development,” Ms Pike said.

“As one of Victoria’s largest not-for-profit community services providers we’ve been providing early learning services across Victoria for more than a century. We know how critical early childhood experiences are for development and can have life‑long impacts on learning, health and behaviour.

“This program is about making sure children who experience family stress or social disadvantage can start school with confidence and developmentally equal with their peers.”

Parkville Institute Co-Director of Research and Practice Associate Professor Brigid Jordan said it was giving children experiencing disadvantage and family stress the best start to their education.

“Adverse early experiences cause significant disruption to brain development, emotional and behavioural regulation and the ability to cope with stress,” Associate Professor said.

“(This) can jeopardise the development of the skills and attributes required for successful learning and a healthy life. We are working to reverse these disruptive effects and deliver better outcomes for children and families.”

Pictured: Left to right Bronwyn Pike, Richard Wynne MP, Hon Dr Anne Aly MP and Robyn Goodwill

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