Communities for Children programs
The early years are critical for development of happy and healthy children. Over the past six years, Wanslea has received Communities for Children funding in order to raise awareness of the importance of this, particularly in regional communities.
Initially covering the whole of the Great Southern region, targeted and universal programs are now focussed in the multi-cultural town of Katanning and surrounding districts.
Place-based programs operate from the Coorlingah Centre and the Braeside Primary School. An integrated service delivery model assists families to become part of the community and makes important links to services in the community, as well as exposure to Australian culture.
The major activities of this program are two diverse Family Fun and Learning (FFL) programs. Wanslea partners with a volunteer tutor from Read Write Now to deliver one of these sessions with Burrundi women from the Twa community to assist them with language skills necessary for re-settlement in Australia. The other Family Fun and Learning program is open to all families. Both sessions focus on children’s development in preparation for school.
The after school hours “Read with Me” activity that operates at the Braeside Primary School ensures that children have one-on-one time and fun reading related activities to encourage optimum learning. Reading is encouraged during these sessions as some children do not have the opportunity at home to read for a variety of reasons.
Although based in Katanning, the service periodically travels to outlying towns bringing information, activities and links to mainstream services. Wanslea programs are eagerly received by isolated families and communities.
This program supports increased parent understanding of early childhood development and promotes ‘early years aware’ communities.