In October 2012 WA Education Minister Peter Collier announced – the inaugural Child and Parent Centres at 10 independent public schools. Later in January 2013 a further six Child and Parent Centres were announced, with ten successful organisations that would coordinate and manage these centres.
Parkerville Children and Youth Care was successful in our bids for two Child and Parent Centres, one located at – Challis Community Primary School and the other at Brookman Primary School. Both schools are in the South East (Armadale region) metro area where our service capacity continues to grow substantially. The intention of the Child and Parent Centre’s is to bring together allied health services, government and non-government agencies, for the purpose of early intervention to ensure children have optimal health and development.
The Child and Parent Centres aim to provide high quality, accessible and integrated universal and targeted programmes and services for children pre-birth to eight years of age and their families. These services and supports aim to increase the capacity of families to provide experiences and home environments that enable children to thrive in all developmental domains and achieve smooth transitions, sustained engagement and success with schooling.
Although based at independent school sites, these centres are seen as a community resource that enable the local community to access a coordinated range of services for children and their families. The types of programmes and services that could be provided include, though are not limited to:
- Antenatal education and child health checks and referrals
- Parenting information and programmes
- Mental health, disability and psychology services
- Allied health services, including speech and occupational therapy
- Information sessions on supporting children’s physical, cognitive, language, and social and emotional development
- Early learning and development programmes with parental involvement, such as playgroups
On September 26th 2014, the long awaited opening of the Child and Parent Centre Challis became a reality. Officially opened by the Honourable Minister for Education Peter Collier, the celebration brought together a number of dignitaries including the Director General of Education Ms Sharyn O Neil, Mayor of Armadale Henry Zelones, Commissioner for Children and Young People Jenni Perkins, Professor Ted Wilkes, Honourable Alannah MacTiernan, Chief Executive for Minderoo Foundation Nicola Forrest, and Executive Directors from the Department of Child Protection and Family Support, Department for Health, and Department of Local Government and Communities to name a few. Less than a month later, the Langford/Thornlie community welcomed the Honourable Peter Collier to officially open the Child and Parent Centre Brookman. Surrounded by well-respected Aboriginal elders, local government and non-government agencies and families the openings of the two Child and Parent Centres highlighted the overwhelming community support in advocating the importance of early child intervention.
Compelling evidence has existed for some time of the importance of investing in children from the earliest possible stages of life and that a collaborative and integrated approach to the provision of services to infants, children and families will result in positive outcomes for children and the community more broadly. Six years ago, Parkerville Children and Youth Care began its journey in early intervention and prevention programs.
Last year Parkerville provided primary, secondary and tertiary services to over 10,000 children, young people and adults across Western Australia. The two Child and Parent Centres, not even fully operational reached out with services to over 2000 children and parents.
These services included multicultural parenting groups with ESL teachers, Aboriginal playgroups with Indigenous Parenting Factor literacy programme, Kindergarten Transition programs led by a Speech Pathologist, 3 year old supported playgroup for children with developmental delay, Young Parents at Play playgroups, St John Ambulance First Aid Training for parents and children, Speech Pathologist working in community playgroups and kindergartens, School Readiness assessments, teacher workshops on protective behaviours, and managing trauma in the classroom, Triple P parent workshops, Wize therapy bulk screening assessments, aboriginal health checks, and the list goes on.
Now with purpose built premises, the Child and Parent Centre both in Challis and Brookman shall continue to grow these services to include a Child Health Nurse, Clinical Psychologist and targeted Speech and Occupational Therapy services. With the official opening of these two centres, the sky is the limit in achieving improved health, social and educational outcomes for families and children within the Child and Parent Centre communities.
Whilst many activities are held at the Child and Parent Centres, others are held at various locations throughout the community to make it easier for parents to attend. The Child and Parent Centres provides their services based on what is needed and wanted within the community, so ideas and feedback from local families is very important. If you would like to become more involved in your Child and Parent centre community, or have any ideas and requests for services, please contact Coordinator for Child and Parent Centre Brookman, Janine Bower on 9258 4646 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For Child and Parent Centre Challis, Louise Hanna 9498 3580 or LHanna@parkerville.org.au.
Child & Parent Centre Challis
Challis Primary School
40 Braemore Road
Armadale WA 6112
Child & Parent Centre Brookman
Brookman Primary School
34 Brookman Avenue
Langford WA 6147