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.
Introduction video, transcript—this short video outlines the purpose of Early Years Connect.
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.
Glossary of terms
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.
Teaching children about (and through) inclusion: Our presenters Marie Stuart and Amelia Joyce ask: 'How do we build support for inclusion and diversity among all the children in our service?'
Physical adjustments for children with complex needs: The team from Inclusion Works! explore ways educators can make adjustments to learning spaces.
'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.
Building partnerships with families: Trisha Dean presents this highly practical webinar on building and maintaining partnerships with families.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
| Previous online modules |
|Module 1: Defining inclusive practice||Module 1|
|Module 2: Creating supportive learning environments||Module 2|
|Module 3: Developing effective partnerships||Module 3|
|Module 4: Supporting Children's Behaviour||Modules 4–6|
|Module 5: Making Educational Adjustments||Module 7|
|Module 6: Governance||Modules 8–9|
|Module 7: Disability support||Modules 10–12|
|Module 8: Transdisciplinary practice||Modules 13–15|
Acknowledgements: 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.