Supporting early learning

Article image - Supporting early learning The delegation at the Franklin Early Childhood School in Canberra.

To help plan an early years learning hub in Logan, Logan City Council in Queensland recently led a fact-finding mission to southern states to view existing flagship centres.

The delegation included representatives from Logan Together, its partners from Queensland Government and YFS, and developers Lendlease and Peet, all of whom will help co-design a planned early years hub for the City of Logan.

The group visited innovative centres in Tasmania, Victoria and the ACT that bring together education, health and wellbeing support services for families with young children.

Logan Together Director Matthew Cox said the hubs were pioneering new ways to engage with families in an early learning environment that was child and parent-friendly.

“The centres we’ve seen are terrific – they’re engaging families in new and interesting ways, from connecting parents and service providers, to giving the smallest members of the family an innovative space in which to play and learn.

“Many of the centres we saw offer extensive support for parents, including financial and legal support, GP visits and ante natal care. I think these models are perfectly aligned for our shared vision for Logan kids and families.”

Logan City Council committed funds in the 2017/18 budget to develop a concept design and undertake a feasibility study for an integrated early years hub, particularly in the high growth areas of Greater Flagstone and Yarrabilba.

Councillors Trevina Schwarz and Laurie Koranksi agreed that seeing existing hubs first hand was invaluable.

For Cr Schwarz, it was the sense of community at the centres that impressed her as much as the practical convenience.

“There’s a real sense in the centres of everyone coming to work together under one roof, chatting and interacting with families to find out what’s happening at home, and how service providers can help.

“We talked to the groups operating these centres to learn more about how they met community needs and how that process could be adapted for the City of Logan.”

Cr Koranksi said the co-design of the centres with the community was a strength.

“We saw some really fantastic centres that have become a beating heart in their communities.

“They’re beautifully designed – full of life and colour – and practical.
“The community was asked what services they wanted, and their input helped shape these amazing facilities.

“We’re very excited to see how we can deliver something similar in our city.”