Enhancing Children’s Well Being through Relationships in Place

Ms Susan Cary1, Ms Isabel Stankiewicz

1Department Of Education Qld South East Region, Gold Coast, Australia

Since 2015 the QLD South East Region has established Early Years Networks which utilise AEDC data to inform action and plan next steps. The relationship building between professionals has established a culture of collaboration between schools and early years services and increased the capacity of teachers and educators to implement evidence based practices and approaches in early childhood. The increased opportunities have supported the development of shared language between the sectors and a common approach to children’s learning.

An additional strategy of Connect 4 Children (QLD DoE 2019) encouraged community input into birth to 5 planning to improve children’s wellbeing within place (QCOSS Place Based Frameworks). However many networks find it challenging to include the voices of children and families despite collective understanding that children’s outcomes are at the centre of these collaborations. This session will explore the journey taken through the lens of the networks. Successes and challenges of network leadership, staff turnover and participation will be examined as they move forward with the challenge of the additional layer of community, family and children.


Susan Cary

Susan has considerable experience leading and supporting reflective processes connecting theory and practice with educators from early childhood services and schools in Australia and the UK. She has delivered at UK, Australian and European Early Childhood conferences and has obtained her Masters in Early Childhood Studies from the Froebel Institute.

Susan has led and developed state funded Integrated Services (health, family support and early childhood education) for children and families (Birth to 8 years); worked for a short time in Children’s Health QLD before taking on various roles developing Partnerships and Pathways with the Department of Education.