KU Annual Report 2007 - Page 9

Professional Development Program, the SET also provided training to non- KU organisations across the state in Campbelltown, Goulburn, Liverpool, Newcastle, Penrith, Queanbeyan and Young. This included a collaborative program funded by the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care [DADHC] and administered through Newcastle University where we co-authored and delivered training to all DADHC funded early childhood programs across NSW. The SET will continue to participate in this highly successful training program during 2008. Our DADHC funded Speech Pathology Program provided services for 110 children in the Eastern Sydney area and this included assessments to secure funding to support their inclusion. The Communicating With Friends program commenced in 2007, will continue through 2008 and will eventually lead to the distribution of training and resources to all KU centre staff in adopting a Total Communication Approach to enhance the communication and social skills of young children. The Supplementary Recurrent Assistance Indigenous Education program supported 53 children to improve educational outcomes for indigenous children. A new initiative, the Koori Play & Chat playgroup at KU Hebersham Preschool commenced in 2007 and supported 5 c hildren in its first year. The Department of Education Science and Training provided $10,000 of resources to support indigenous children in 24 KU preschools. Northern Sydney SCAN “Supporting Children with Additional Needs” (SCAN) assists children with additional needs to have equal access with all other children to a quality early childhood or vacation care experience. KU manages the Northern Sydney SCAN for DoCS, one of 10 providers in the 14 NSW SCAN areas. Northern Sydney Scan supports 89 preschools (including 28 KU preschools) and10 Occasional Child Care Centres. 286 visits to services were made to services with a total of 799 children being funded in 85 centres. As an outcome of the assistance of the SCAN program, many of the children’s level of support needs improve, and no longer require funding by the end of the year. KU provides a consultant 2 days per week to support services (an initiative not offered by all SCAN organisations) and a part time Aboriginal Education Consultant to support services in Northern Sydney SCAN. The Aboriginal Education Consultant is the main point of contact for the six preschools, including two KU preschools, which participate in the ACCESS Project; an initiative to increase the enrolments of children from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds. As part of a ‘Cultural Exchange Project’ a Director from Northern Sydney and a Director of an Aboriginal Preschool in Brewarrina, northern NSW, spent a week in each other’s centres engaging with staff, children and families to gain deeper insight and understanding of each other’s cultures. The current contract to manage the program will end in June 2009. The program is now under review as part of the agenda of the Preschool Investment and Reform Plan Working Group. Family Programs KU Family Programs are funded by a range of Federal and State government departments to provide specific support to families with young children who have been identified as vulnerable. This support is largely delivered in the context of Supported Playgroups and comes at no cost to the family. It includes play sessions designed to increase parent-child engagement, the provision of parenting and child development information in a relaxed, welcoming setting, the availability of specific services from professionals including Speech Pathologists and Family Workers. The groups are staffed, supported and equipped to the same high quality standard as all other KU services. During 2007, staff worked with approximately 400 families in 22 Local KU’s 112 Annual Report 2007 th 9