New program for Eden Child Care Centre

Eden Child Care Centre nominated supervisor and early childhood teacher, Joan Wood, with Professors Edward Melhuish and Jacqueline Barnes.

Eden Child Care Centre nominated supervisor and early childhood teacher, Joan Wood, with Professors Edward Melhuish and Jacqueline Barnes.

Eden Child Care Centre is part of a new early childhood transformational project, which aims to create and enrich life opportunities for young children.

Nominated supervisor and early childhood teacher for the Eden Child Care Centre, Joan Wood, said the Early Start project aimed to create and enrich life opportunities for young children, and is being delivered through 41 Early Start Engagement Centres across the state.

In the Bega Valley, it has been developed in partnership with the University of Wollongong and Bega Valley Shire Council, with Bandara Children’s Services also involved.

“As part of the project, two world renowned experts in research and policy on early childhood, Professor Edward Melhuish and Professor Jacqueline Barnes, visited the Eden and Bega facilities last week," Ms Wood said.

"[They visited] after presenting a seminar on the Early Years and Later Development: Evidence and Social policy at the University of Wollongong’s Bega campus.

“We are delighted and feel very privileged to have world-class academics guiding the Early Start initiative.

“The professors spent time talking with the children and staff at our services and we feel confident with their support we will be able to achieve our goals of providing high-quality early learning experiences for children in the Bega Valley."

Professor Melhuish said much evidence had been accumulated in recent decades that the child’s experience in the early years has profound consequences for later life.

British evidence indicated how differing experience in the early years, both in the home and outside it, can have long-term impact on children’s educational and socio-emotional development.

“In particular, experience in the home and in early childhood education and care has an impact on development many years later,” he said.

“Evidence from Europe, North and South America and Asia supports these findings and such evidence has influenced policy and practice in the UK and other countries.”

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