Finalists announced for the Victorian Early Years Awards
A kindergarten delivering its program in Auslan, a supported playgroup taking place at a shopping centre and a program providing wellbeing coaches for Koorie kids are among the finalists for the 11th annual Victorian Early Years Awards.
The Department of Education and Training today announced 15 finalists across five different categories, including the Early Childhood Teacher of the Year.
The awards recognise excellence in the early childhood sector and celebrate those whose work has had a lasting positive effect on children and families.
Finalists come from across the state, and have been selected for their outstanding achievements in helping Victorian children grow up happy and healthy, improving the lives of families and making a significant difference to their communities.
Last year's winners included Clare Day, 2015 Early Childhood Teacher of the Year, who has used her prize money to further develop her skills and knowledge to support local families going through difficult times, including newly arrived refugee families.
Categories for the awards also include promoting children's health and wellbeing, supporting parents to build their capacity and confidence, creating collaborative community partnerships and improving access and participation in early learning. Winners will share in more than $80,000 in prize money.
The winners of each category, plus a special Minister's commendation, will be announced at a ceremony on 18 October 2016, just before Children's Week.
2016 Award Categories
Award category 1: Improving access and participation in early learning
| Finalist Name||Program|
Vic Foundation for the Survivors of Torture and East Sunshine Kindergarten
East Sunshine Kindergarten Early Childhood Access and Participation Project
MacKillop Family Services
Central West Shopping Centre Playground
Aurora School Community Kindergarten
An Early Years Program In A Bilingual Setting
Award category 2: Supporting parents to build their capacity and confidence
Hume City Council|| Family Early Learning Partnership|
| Melton City Council|| Moments for Learning|
| Tomorrow Today Foundation || Tomorrow Today Parents Early Education Partnership Program|
Award category 3: Creating collaborative community partnerships
|Yarra Ranges Council Partnering with Eastern Community Legal Centre, Eastern Domestic Violence Service, Boornadawan Willam Aboriginal Healing Service, and Maroondah City Council || Collaborative response to family violence in the east |
Moorabool Shire Council Partnering with Ballan Primary School
From little things, big things grow, especially in rural communities
Cohealth Partnering with City of Maribyrnong, Melbourne City Mission, Victoria University and Dinjerra Primary School
LEAP ahead in Braybrook|
Award category 4:
Promoting children's health and wellbeing
Jindi Family and Community Centre
| A holistic approach to improving community health outcomes at Jindi Kindergarten|
| Victorian Aboriginal Health Service|| Coaching Koorie Kids|
| Dental Health Services Victoria|| Baby teeth count too!|
Award category 5: Early childhood teacher of the year
Early childhood development is at the heart of the Victorian Government's vision for the Education State, and the Victorian Early Years Awards are an opportunity to recognise services that are leading the way to achieving this important goal.
Winners in categories 1,2,3 and 4 will receive $15,000 to firther develop and share the learnings of their inovative approach, while the winner in the Early Childhood Teacher of the Year category will receive $10,000 to support their professional development goals.
Award categories in 2016
Following a review of the Victorian Early Years Awards in 2015, the award categories have been updated to better reflect current priorities. This year there are five award categories.
|Category 1 - Improving access and participation in early learning||For initiatives that promote access and ongoing participation in early learning, particularly for vulnerable and disadvantaged families. |
|Category 2 - Supporting parents to build their capacity and confidence||For initiatives that support parents and carers to feel confident and capable in their parenting role, and to recognise their role as first teachers in supporting their child’s learning and development.|
|Category 3 - Creating collaborative community partnerships||For partnerships that use and promote collaborative practice to support positive outcomes for children and families. |
Category 4 - Promoting children’s health and wellbeing||For initiatives that promote children’s health and wellbeing. For example, increasing access and participation in health and wellbeing initiatives, aligning practice with current health policies and creating healthy environments.|
|Category 5 - Early childhood teacher of the year||For early childhood teachers that demonstrate innovation and exemplary practice in early childhood education, and make a significant contribution to the development and delivery of quality early childhood education programs.|
If you have any questions about the Victorian Early Years Awards, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org or call (03) 9651 3393.
For more information about the winners in 2015, see:
Early Years Awards 2015 winners.