Welcome to Early Years Connect. The purpose of Early Years Connect is to help educators support children with complex additional needs to participate in early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in Queensland. When we talk about 'complex additional needs', we mean:
- significant developmental delay
- complex social, emotional and behavioural needs.
Every child has the right to access ECEC services, and every child can benefit from meaningful participation in an ECEC program. Children with complex additional needs may need particular support or consideration to achieve success in their ECEC service. For educators, this means learning about the child, their interests and abilities, through close collaboration with families, allied health professionals and support agencies. When we work together—educators, children, families and other professionals—we can provide children with the best start in life.
Early Years Connect will help you to learn about supporting children with complex additional needs, and how to use professional partnerships to strengthen your team.
This short video outlines the purpose of Early Years Connect.
Transcript for video (DOC, 25KB)
Learning and resources
Early Years Connect was comprised of 4 main components: face-to-face workshops (delivered between October 2015 and June 2017), webinars (delivered between February 2016 and June 2017), information sheets including a glossary of terms, and a series of online modules.
While the very popular live webinars and face-to-face workshops have been delivered,
webinar recordings can still be accessed below.
The Early Years Connect information sheets provide quick access to key facts and advice about inclusion, disability support, legislation and working with families and other professionals. They are suitable for educators, service supervisors and management.
|Setting the scene|
Creating inclusive early childhood education and care services (PDF, 323KB)(DOC, 43KB)
The principles of inclusion (PDF, 358KB)(DOC, 49KB)
Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Commonwealth) (PDF, 314KB)(DOC, 48KB)
Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Queensland) (PDF, 317KB)(DOC, 50KB)
Disability Standards for Education 2005 (Commonwealth) (PDF, 290KB)(DOC, 52KB)
Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Queensland) (PDF, 388KB)(DOC, 56KB)
|Leading and implementing change|
Making inclusion a strategic priority for your service (PDF, 269KB)(DOC, 46KB)
Developing and reviewing policies and procedures (PDF, 318KB)(DOC, 48KB)
Developing a Disability Action Plan (PDF, 277KB)(DOC, 49KB)
Developing decision-making and risk management frameworks (PDF, 268KB)(DOC, 56KB)
|Working with families and service providers||
Working together to create inclusive service and communities (PDF, 328KB)(DOC, 45KB)
Fostering the development of transdisciplinary practice (PDF, 443KB) (DOC, 45KB)
A professional development framework to support inclusion (PDF, 317KB)(DOC, 49KB)
Promoting and celebrating achievements in inclusion (PDF, 273KB) (DOC, 47KB)
Glossary of terms (PDF, 125 KB) (DOC, 40KB)
Learners are invited to join us for flexible online learning with Early Years Connect. Our 8 online modules contain text, video, activities and assessments to help you learn more about inclusion. Complete the modules whenever it suits you, then download your Certificate of Completion. These online modules are also
mapped to qualifications in early childhood education and care.
The course overview and Modules 1–8 are currently available for completion.
The Early Years Connect project incorporated a series of webinars which were presented as an opportunity for participants to ask questions, contribute their own comments and to connect with experts and colleagues right across Queensland. Each webinar ran for approximately 1 hour and recordings are available below:
||25 February 2016
Inclusion of children with complex additional needs: where do we start? Join expert Alison Evans (Inclusion Manager, C&K) to get started on building inclusion in your service.
||22 March 2016
Social and emotional wellbeing of children with complex additional needs Join Dr Lyn O'Grady (Community Psychologist) to learn how to support the social and emotional wellbeing of children with disability and complex additional needs.
20 April 2016
Strategies for children with speech, communication and language needs
Join Sharynne McLeod, Professor of Speech and Language Acquisition at Charles Sturt University, to learn how to support children with speech, language and communication needs.
||19 May 2016
IT tools for children with disability Join Dr Kate Highfield and Dr Kathy Cologon (Macquarie University) to learn how IT tools can support children with disability.
||13 July 2016
Encouraging positive behaviour Join Peter Melrose (Child and behaviour therapist) to learn about understanding and supporting the behaviour of children with disability and complex additional needs.
||27 July 2016
An inclusive philosophy and Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) Join Amanda Fraser (Quality and Regulation Team, C&K) to learn about the role of your philosophy and QIP in building an inclusive service.
||25 August 2016
Building an inclusive team Join Penny Markham (National Lead, Social Inclusion, Goodstart Early Learning) for a webinar about how your team can work together to support the inclusion of children with disability and complex additional needs.
||13 September 2016
Transdisciplinary practice: building teams to support children Join Dr Jennifer Cartmel (Senior Lecturer, Griffith University) for a webinar about how you can form transdisciplinary teams to support the inclusion of children with disability and complex additional needs.
||19 October 2016
Practical strategies to support transitions Join Professor Susan Walker (Queensland University of Technology) for a webinar about how to plan for, and manage, transitions for children with disability and complex additional needs.
||17 November 2016
Learning about Autism Join Susan Lester (Autism Queensland) for a webinar about ability and Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) providing information on diagnosis and strategies for supporting the inclusion of children with Autism.
|6 December 2016
Learning about Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) Join Jo Cole (clinical psychologist) for a webinar about ability and ADHD providing information on diagnosis and strategies for supporting the inclusion of children with ADHD.
||22 February 2017
Sensory processing: Helping children belong and learn Join expert Dr Jill Ashburner (Autism Queensland) who examines some of the sensory processing issues that can be challenging for young children, and provides strategies on helping children belong and learn.
||21 March 2017
Building partnerships with families Trisha Dean presents this highly practical webinar on building and maintaining partnerships with families.
27 April 2017
'I'm concerned about a child's development… now what?'
Emma Pierce presents this practical webinar on identifying, documenting and communicating developmental concerns with families and health professionals.
||24 May 2017
Physical adjustments for children with complex needs The team from Inclusion Works! explore ways educators can make adjustments to learning spaces.
Map your learning
The Early Years Connect face-to-face workshops and online modules may help educators to attain units of competency for the Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care and the Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. They may also assist registered teachers to meet their ongoing professional development recognition requirements for the Queensland College of Teachers Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Framework, in alignment with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers.
The following documents may help you to map the Early Years Connect resources to your studies:
In these mapping guides to formal recognition, please note the change in the structure from the previous 15 learning modules in the series to the newly revised 8 online modules:
Module 1 - Defining inclusive practice
Module 2 - Creating supportive learning environments
Module 3 - Developing effective partnerships
Module 4 - Supporting Children's Behaviour
Modules 4 - 6
Module 5 - Making Educational Adjustments
Module 6 - Governance
Modules 8 - 9
Module 7 - Disability support
Modules 10 - 12
Module 8 - Transdisciplinary practice
Modules 13 - 15
Background—Face-to-face workshop sessions
The Early Years Connect workshop sessions were held in regional and metropolitan areas in Queensland between October 2015 and June 2017 and were designed for all ECEC educators, service supervisors and approved providers. The workshop sessions were presented by inclusion experts, and included practical advice and case studies with the aim of improving practice and policies and to build the knowledge and skills of educators working with children with disability and complex additional needs in ECEC services in Queensland. Between July and August 2017, Early Years Connect also convened workshops specifically designed for Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) staff.
There were 2 types of workshops in the program: 'Disability Support' and 'Working collaboratively with other professionals (Transdisciplinary Practice)'. These were offered in a flexible format, whereby attendees could choose either a full-day or half-day session, based on individual ability and needs.
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) was contracted to develop the initial Early Years Connect professional development package in conjunction with their partners, the Crèche and Kindergarten Association Limited (C&K) and Autism Queensland.