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“Positive Beginnings”. Michael White A/Executive Director, Office for Children Department of Education and Early Childhood Development Presentation to Best Start Forum 26 November 2007. Overview. The National Reform Agenda – Victoria’s Plan for Early Childhood

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positive beginnings

“Positive Beginnings”

Michael White

A/Executive Director, Office for Children

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Presentation to Best Start Forum 26 November 2007

  • The National Reform Agenda – Victoria’s Plan for Early Childhood
  • Early Years within The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
  • Fostering Leadership and Change to bring about improved outcomes for children and families

The National Reform Agenda:

Victoria’s plan to improve outcomes in early childhood

recognising families and services
Recognising families and services


key features
Key features:

“ A series of actions to develop an integrated, high-quality and accessible early childhood service system that includes:

  • A more professional early childhood education and care workforce
  • Stronger universal learning services for three and four-year-olds and the eventual integration of child care and kindergarten
  • Better targeting of resources and services to disadvantaged children and their families”
early childhood development the national reform agenda
Early Childhood Development- The National Reform Agenda
  • Children
    • % Health Birth Weight
    • % “Skills for Learning and Life”
  • Families and Community
    • Workforce Participation
victoria s plan under the nra 3 groups of actions 53 in all
Victoria’s plan under the NRA3 Groups of Actions, 53 in all
  • 20 Victorian commitments($136m over four years, funded in budget
  • 24 recommended directions for Victoria’s ‘next steps’
    • Major reforms eg higher kindergarten hours
    • Need engagement and support of Commonwealth
  • 9 specific Commonwealth actions
    • Particularly extension of Child Care Benefit

The Early Years


the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

establishment of deecd signals new commitment to building human capital in victoria
Establishment of DEECD signals new commitment to building human capital in Victoria:

“Linking early childhood services and school education recognises that children’s development is a continuous process from birth to adulthood, and government services must reflect this to provide each child with the best opportunity.”

The Honourable John Brumby

Premier of Victoria

2 August 2007

the creation of deecd provides opportunities to improve outcomes for children and families
The creation of DEECD provides opportunities to improve outcomes for children and families
  • A single point of focus for human capital development from 0 to 24
    • Greater ability to track progress intervene where needed
    • Greater efficiency in services children and families
  • Integrated and seamless service delivery for families
    • Improved transition between stages of growth
    • Place based approaches
delivering through deecd
Delivering through DEECD

Human Capital Reform Agenda: From Birth to Adulthood

Middle Years


8 – 16yrs



16 –24 years

Early Childhood Development


Universal system of support combined with a targeted approach in areas of high need

challenges and opportunities
Challenges and opportunities
  • Child’s learning & development at the centre
  • Partnerships - schools, kindergarten, child care, playgroups, parent resource centres, parent groups, families & communities
  • Seamless system, support for transitions
  • Local government a major partner
  • Mix of providers
  • Health responsibilities
  • Focusing on vulnerable families
  • Community expectations
successful leadership of multi agency teams
Successful leadership of multi-agency teams
  • Developing a shared philosophy, vision and principles
  • Ensuring a perception by users of cohesive and comprehensive services
  • All members of the team sharing an identity, purpose and common working practice
  • A strong commitment by all partners to fund and facilitate the development and delivery of integrated services (DfES 2003)

Key factors underpinning successful partnerships in Best Start

  • Shared vision
  • Developing a culture of collaboration
  • Allowing time for development
  • Getting the balance right
  • Facilitating the process
  • Widening the scope
  • Recognising outcomes
  • Adequate funding & resourcing

(Statewide Evaluation of Best Start, 2006 Melbourne University)

systems and services implementing change in best start
Systems and Services - Implementing change in Best Start
  • Joint Planning
  • Joint & Cross Promotion
  • Joint Projects
  • Joint Professional Development
  • Sharing Information & Cross Referral
  • Sharing resources & Co-Location
what drives behaviour
What drives behaviour?
  • “Language affects thinking. Thinking effects behaviour. Companies must change how people speak if they are to change how people behave” (Buckingham & Coffman, 1999, P.237)
  • Language that is coherent with mission: talking the talk;
  • Appealing to the best in people;
  • Positive views on children, families and their needs;
  • Modelling dissatisfaction. Speaking positively of staff.

Leaders don’t require procedures but results



Lead the early childhood agenda to be the force to realise your vision and achieve the outcomes for our children

“Positive Beginnings” make a lasting impression for each and every child

Thank you