Raising children is joyful, important and complex.
Research into brain development clearly shows that a child’s success at school is set in the first few years of life. High-quality care of children at home and quality early childhood education opportunities can provide the setting for student development and therefore minimise learning difficulties at school.
If children are to get the best start in life, they need capable, confident parents to nurture and inspire them and an excellent learning environment to foster their curiosity and abilities.
It is remarkable to see how strongly the research evidence about early childhood shows that parents benefit greatly from having high quality health, family support and early education services to help them raise their children. I have seen this in my work as an early childhood teacher and education researcher.
Too often education, health and family services work in isolation from each other, despite often dealing with the same families. Child learning and development are often seen as separate. They’re not. They need to be addressed in unison.
It means child development problems or issues that families need help with, are often not identified early and acted upon quickly. It means families face long waiting lists and travel long distances when they get referred from service to service or to several services at the same time.
We have listened to families and acted on the best education research to create a College whose mission and structure of on-site, integrated education, health and family services is aimed at overcoming these barriers.
Our College also recognises a simple truth: often the most effective way to help children, is to help adults become better parents, and, along with their children, develop an enthusiasm for learning new skills.
By working in partnership with parents we can achieve great outcomes for children.