A framework for integrated early childhood development

Children Child development Well-being Health Australia Queensland

This resource is intended to support and encourage integrated service delivery across the early childhood development sector.

Integrated service delivery brings together different disciplines and services into a more comprehensive service delivery system. An integrated approach to early childhood development enables families to access multiple services in a cohesive way.

The framework for integrated early childhood development draws on current research, Queensland early childhood integrated service reviews and evaluations, and was developed in consultation with several funded services.

Research indicates integrated services are increasingly providing positive outcomes for children and their families.

In Cairns, Mookai Rosie Bi-Bayan provides a home away from home for women who come to prepare for their babies’ birth or attend medical appointments not available in their far northern communities. One of their integrated programs is the Bi-Bayan Playgroup where playgroup staff work with other members of the Mookai Rosie team to offer holistic parenting support, including culturally supportive behaviour management, nutrition programs, and advocacy and referral pathways for children with developmental concerns.

This framework focuses on integration within service delivery and is intended to support early childhood development services to analyse and enhance their integrated approach.

It has four main components:

1. An overview of integration in early childhood development;

2. The department’s model for integrated early childhood development services;

3. A reflective tool to support organisations to develop or enhance their integrated approach; and

4. A range of relevant references and tools.

The reflective tool is composed of reflective questions which providers can use to enhance or evaluate their services.

The reflective tool is enhanced with examples and case studies from Queensland services to illustrate the successes, challenges and variety of approaches to integrated early childhood development.

At the Caboolture Early Years Centre, for example, staff recognised that it took a while for everyone to get their heads around who did what when they first started working in an integrated way. To help the process along, they jointly created a plan which formalised staff roles. After six months, people became more comfortable with the integrated model and individual challenges were worked through.

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