Ready to Step Up

A free parent/carer information session to support kindergarten-aged children to get ready for school in 2021. Ready to Step Up is presented by IPC Health – Improving and Promoting Community Health.

The Ready to Step Up parent sessions will focus on supporting parents/carers and seeks to address any concerns that parent/carers have about their child’s readiness to start school in 2021 due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ready to Step Up virtual transition sessions are free of charge and will be delivered via ZOOM on Wednesday November 4 10am – 11:30am.

Register here https://readytostepuploddoncampaspe.eventbrite.com.au

Kindergarten to School Transition Information

Primary school transition/orientation is an important process for families, children and the school community to develop an understanding the needs of children, of school expectations, school environment and to promote a smooth beginning to school for foundation/prep students.  Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing requirements, many orientation opportunities have had to be significantly modified..

Many primary schools have strong links and processes in place to support transition including virtual tours and general information regarding transition on their school’s website.

Shine Bright EYM and Communities for Children Bendigo are pleased to support the Department of Education and Training to provide the following information and links to families to access information about their local primary school and transition in 2020/2021.

Information on school zones from Department of Education and Training.

Enrol NOW by phoning the school office or sending an email.

Visit the school website for details on the school zone, 2021 enrolment information and the Foundation (Prep) orientation program.

Information on Victorian government school zones is available on findmyschool.vic.gov.au which hosts the most up-to-date information for 2020 onwards.

Students residing in their designated zone are guaranteed a place at their neighbourhood school, which is determined on the basis of your permanent residential address.

The Department of Education & Training provides guidance to schools through the Placement Policy to ensure that students have access to their designated neighbourhood school and the freedom to choose other schools, subject to facility limitations.

You can find more information and answers to frequently asked questions on the Department’s website under School zones

Onsite school visits and orientation programs will be subject to COVID-19 restrictions.  Contact schools and regularly check school websites for updates.

Families are able to view the Foundation/Prep Enrolment information updated for COVID-19 by clicking on the link below.

Parenting in a Pandemic

A list of resources, links and tips to support families during COVID-19 is available on the For Parents page

Resource Kit to support diverse learning

Noah’s Ark and Communities for Children Bendigo have collaborated to create a free resource kit to support those working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

The Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurring Country video and resource kit was made possible thanks to funding from the Department of Social Services, under the Families and Communities Programme.

Noah’s Ark is a not-for-profit disability provider supporting children up to 12 years of age.

Communities for Children Bendigo develop programs to support early childhood development and wellbeing.

The Connecting With Culture kit aims to guide and support services to be welcoming and respectful to Aboriginal families and engage meaningfully with Aboriginal culture.

The kit has been developed with assistance from Dja Dja Wurrung community members.

One of those is Koorie education support officer, a proud Dja Dja Wurrung and Bangerang Traditional Owner Kerri Douglas.

“I was pleased to support Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country and encourage anyone who is working with Aboriginal families to take a look at the wealth of information included in the video and resource kit.

The kit includes a sample of tools and resources available and emphasises ways of offering and providing respectful work with First Nations People and primarily focuses on Dja Dja Wurrung Country.

Voice of the Aboriginal Family project worker Amanda Lonergan said: “It’s been a privilege to engage with the Aboriginal community and learn ways of providing respectful and welcoming services to families.”

The kit includes links about how to teach students about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture, how to develop Reconciliation Action Plans and online, television and language resources.

CREDIT: Nicholas Nakos Bendigo Advertiser Aug 14 2020

Language and Literacy: Read, Sing, Talk, Play

A NEW campaign is helping improve speech and literacy in young children in the Greater Bendigo region.

Bendigo Health’s ‘Read, Sing, Talk, Play Together Everyday’ campaign is giving parents and carers tips to aid literacy and language development in zero to five-year-olds.

The hospital’s language and literacy project officer Gabby Barrett said those years could set children up for life.

“The more words kids hear in those early years, the more likely they are to succeed,” she said. “It’s the really basic passing on of information that can help.”

Read more: Early years literacy push in Bendigo as experts recommend parents and children read together

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 7.9 per cent of children in Greater Bendigo are vulnerable when it comes to language and cognitive skills. That is higher than the state average of 6.4 per cent.

By the time a child reaches the age of five, almost 90 per cent of their brain is developed. More than a million new connections form in a child’s brain every second during their first five years of life.

Mrs Barrett said it was as simple as reading books aloud to your child everyday.

Parents and carers could also sing songs and nursery rhymes, play with puppets and props, or even just talk to their child – ask them questions and encourage them to finish phrases.

“Reading with children is really about looking at pictures and commenting rather than focusing on words, especially in those younger years,” Mrs Barrett said.

“You can make the biggest change for them just by talking. Use as many words as you can to promote their vocabulary.”

Mrs Barrett said more information about the campaign would be coming out across social media and other platforms in the coming weeks.

Parents and carers could also find information at bendigoreads.com.au

CREDIT: Bendigo Advertiser May 2020 Words Tara Cosoleto Image Darren Howe

COVID-19 services

SPECIAL NOTICEDue to the COVID-19 situation many of the C4C Bendigo direct services for families are now operating differently. Check out the Bendigo Reads website: www.bendigoreads.com.au  and go to the ‘Programs’ tab for what is being provided for families instead. 

Additionally check out these go-to resources newly established for workers and families at this time.

  • Goldfields Library ‘Library in your Loungeroom’  will be the first thing people see when they go to the Library website ncgrl.vic.gov.au  The key elements for families are: Virtual Story time and Fun Activities for Kids at home.
  • CoGB : A new COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Helpline has been established. This is a single point of contact for residents to get access to local information about emergency housing, food relief, financial assistance, business information, counselling and mental health support. People can contact the Helpline by: Phone: 5434 6237 – Monday to Friday, 8.30am – 5pm or Email: covid19relief@bendigo.vic.gov.au

Central Victorian Indigenous Film Festival

C4C & Noah’s Ark Bendigo are proud to announce the inclusion of Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country in the 2020 Central Victorian Indigenous Film Festival. A full list of how and where to view films including the award winning In My Blood It Runs is available now. You can view Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country below or on indigiTUBE .

The full program is available below or visit the City of Greater Bendigo

Mother Goose in your home!

Parent Child Mother Goose is now available to stream online wherever you are with a number of fun videos. Tiff and Helen sing, play and interact with you in the virtual sessions with accompanying notes and info available at Bendigo Reads.

Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country

Noah’s Ark and C4C Bendigo are working with members of the local community to create the Connecting with Culture on Dja Dja Wurrung Country Toolkit. This evolving toolkit aims to guide and support services to be welcoming and respectful to Aboriginal families and engage meaningfully with Aboriginal Culture, focussing on local connection and perspectives. Please view and share this short video amongst your networks.