NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health Successful #earlychildhood programs deliver significant improvements in the health and well-being of Aboriginal children and families. #ABetterStarttoLife #ANFPP #New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program and #Preschool Readiness Program

Through Better Start to Life, Danila Dilba has recently begun offering home nurse visits, meaning Darwin children and families now have more culturally appropriate access to antenatal and postnatal care.

We know that Mums participating in this program have fewer low birth weight babies, higher rates of breastfeeding and very high infant immunisation rates. We are also seeing women accessing antenatal care earlier in their pregnancies.

By wrapping services around families, locally focussed programs like this are also important in helping guard against the development of chronic conditions in later life, such as rheumatic heart disease and kidney failure.”

Visiting Darwin’s Danila Dilba Health Service last week , the Minister for Indigenous Health, Ken Wyatt AM, said the programs promised to help in Closing the Gap in health equality and were already having a measurable impact.

Read over 294 NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health articles published over the past 6 years

 ” In Alice Springs, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress is targeting at-risk Indigenous children before they even start preschool.

The Preschool Readiness Program has up to 10 places for children between the ages of three and four who have been identified as having developmental delays or come from challenging home environments “

Preschool readiness program for Indigenous children takes holistic approach at Congress Alice Springs see Part 2

 ” Wonderful success story: early life investment optimises children & family wellbeing.

No need to talk about government failure when our communities can be so successful given right resourcing, support, authority & control ”

Kerry Arabena Professor Indigenous Health Leading

 

PDF printable version of Giving our Indigenous Children a Better Start to Life – PDF 361 KB

Two successful early childhood programs delivering significant improvements in the health and well-being of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families will be expanded across an additional 19 new sites.

The Turnbull Government is investing $94 million over three years in A Better Start to Life, which consists of two streams: The Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program (ANFPP) and the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program.

The Danila Dilba Health Service through the ANFPP is receiving $1.68 million for the 2017-2018 financial year.

    • The New Directions program targets five priority areas, including:
    • Care before and immediately after birth
    • Detailed information about baby care
    • Practical advice and assistance with breast-feeding, nutrition and parenting
    • Monitoring development, immunisations and infections
    • Health checks and referrals to treatment for children before they start school

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare research highlighted that families participating in New Directions program registered improvements in seven out of the eight national Key Performance Indicators on maternal and child health.

“While lifetime health care is important, intensive support from before birth to three years old – the critical first 1,000 days – has the greatest impact on our children’s futures,” said Minister Wyatt.

“It augurs well for thousands of young Indigenous kids that 14 new sites are implementing the New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program and five new sites are delivering the Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program.”

The number of New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services sites now totals 124, along with 13 Australian Nurse-Family Partnership Program sites.

Twelve more New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program locations are due to be announced by July this year, taking the national total to 136.

The new sites are:

State
Australian Nurse Family Partnership Program Organisations
Indigenous Areas
VIC
Rumbalara Aboriginal Cooperative Ltd
Campaspe – Shepparton – Moira
NSW
Durri Aboriginal Corporation Medical Service
Kempsey
Greater Western Aboriginal Health Service
Blacktown
NT
Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Corporation
Katherine Town
ACT
Winnunga Nimmityjah Aboriginal Health Service (ACT) Inc
Canberra North
Canberra South
State
New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services Organisations
Indigenous Areas
NSW
Wellington Aboriginal Corporation Health Service
Wellington
Coonamble Aboriginal Health Service
Coonamble
Walgett Aboriginal Medical Service Ltd
Walgett
QLD
Mulungu Aboriginal Corporation Primary Health Care Service
Atherton
Kuranda – Croydon
Gurriny Yealamucka (Good Healing) Health Services Aboriginal Corporation
Yarrabah
Apunipima Cape York Health Council
Aurukun
Kowanyama
NPA Family and Community Services Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Corp
Northern Peninsula Area
WA
Derby Aboriginal Health Service Council Aboriginal Corporation
Derby Mowanjum
Broome Regional Aboriginal Medical Service
Broome – Surrounds
South-West Aboriginal Medical Service Aboriginal Corporation
Bunbury
SA
Pika Wiya Health Service Aboriginal Corporation
Port Augusta
Pangula Mannamurna Aboriginal Corporation
South East
Ceduna Koonibba Aboriginal Health Service (Aboriginal Corporation)
Ceduna
Nunyara Aboriginal Health Service Inc
Whyalla

Part 2 Preschool readiness program for Indigenous children takes holistic approach

In Alice Springs, the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress is targeting at-risk Indigenous children before they even start preschool.

The Preschool Readiness Program has up to 10 places for children between the ages of three and four who have been identified as having developmental delays or come from challenging home environments.

From Here

Senior manager of Child and Family Services at Congress, Dawn Ross, said it was important to create an environment that was similar to a preschool at a primary school.

“We have purchased items that would enable a child to feel friendly and be familiarised with what a preschool would be like if they went to preschool and that’s what our program is really about is getting kids familiarised and ready,” she said.

Victoria Croker enrolled her son Jaxon in the program in 2017 after his preschool teacher thought he may not be ready for school yet..

“He wasn’t quite interested in mat time and eating with the other kids so that’s kind of where we thought he needed a bit of extra help.”

Like many new mothers, Ms Croker struggled after the birth of her first child.

Photo: Dawn Ross, senior manager of Child and Family Services at Congress, Victoria Croker and her young son Matthew Rosas. (ABC Alice Springs: Emma Haskin)

“I had a bit of a rough patch there. With the support that these guys offer, it’s just amazing,” she said.

“They bring in a doctor to see the children one-on-one and have time with the parents, and ask how the parents are going at home with everything and if need be they do the referrals and they help you to get to your appointments for the child’s referrals.”

Ms Croker said his teachers from mainstream preschool had noticed a transformation in Jaxon.

“A huge difference — he’s a totally different kid now,” she said.

“It was good that they had just a small group so they could focus on the kids one-on-one. He didn’t have a lot of playgroup, so the program was really good to teach him routine, putting things away, and doing things on his own.”

Early intervention key for future success

The program’s team leader and psychologist Bianka Schulz-Allen said it helped to know the children’s background story and how that may impact on their development.

She said it was common for children in their program to come from highly traumatic situations.

“What we do know is that when parents are impacted by trauma like domestic violence or alcohol, or any of those things, it does impact on the children’s development and therefore we need to target the children and the parents in our interventions,” she said.

Ms Schulz-Allen said early intervention was vital to ensure future success in mainstream education.

“We measure children on several domains of their development like fine motor development, gross motor development, speech, receptive language, expressive language.

“All of those things and what we’ve measured is that all children in our program actually show a big improvement but mainly the language domain which allows them to progress in school.”

Photo: Educators at the Congress Preschool Readiness Program, Mark Lockyer, Bianka Schulz-Allen and Bronwyn Fielding. (ABC Alice Springs: Emma Haskin)

Positive male role models

The program’s only male educator, Mark Lockyer, provided the children with a positive role model.

“I’ve been working with the program for about six months now and I’m enjoying it a lot,” he said.

“I like working with families and building relationships with families and getting the family’s engagement with their children.

“Families are welcome to come along to the preschool readiness program and be a part of it as well.”

Mr Lockyer said trust was vital when engaging with the family and the children.

“We’re working with their children so we want them to build up their relationship and they can trust us with their children’s education,” Mr Lockyer said.

The program’s involvement continues when the children go into mainstream preschool.

“They’re happy to see us and that we can talk to the teachers at the preschool as well and say what that child is like and how that child has improved,” he said.

“It’s good seeing the improvements of the child plus seeing that child have the confidence to start preschool.”

One comment on “NACCHO Aboriginal Children’s Health Successful #earlychildhood programs deliver significant improvements in the health and well-being of Aboriginal children and families. #ABetterStarttoLife #ANFPP #New Directions: Mothers and Babies Services program and #Preschool Readiness Program

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