Connections: A resource for early childhood educators about children’s wellbeing
What is Connections?
Connections is a practical resource for early childhood educators to guide them in supporting children’s mental health and wellbeing. It has been developed by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health with funding from the Australian Government through the Department of Education.
Who is it for?
Connections is a resource for early childhood educators who care for children (birth to eight years) in a range of settings including long day care, family day care, preschool and out of school hours care.
Why has Connections been developed?
Positive social and emotional development in early childhood is important for the day-to-day wellbeing of babies and young children and can also lead to lasting benefits for their future.
It is essential for babies and young children to be supported in their development and their mental health, and for the thousands of young children who attend child care and early learning services throughout Australia, the role of early childhood educators is critical.
Connections has been developed to assist early childhood educators to build their knowledge, skills and confidence in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of all children at their service, including those who may have additional needs.
What is in Connections?
Connections outlines the skills and practices of educators that are associated with positive mental health and wellbeing for children. It also provides practical examples and tips to help educators adapt these ideas to fit their service, and meet the unique needs of their children and families.
There are a range of reflective questions and case studies, as well as links to the National Quality Standard (NQS), Belonging, Being and Becoming – The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia and My Time, Our Place – Framework for School Age Care in Australia.
Fact sheets are provided on topics such as family conflict and separation; trauma, loss and grief; supporting additional mental health needs; discussing mental health difficulties with families; and helping a person in distress.
How was the resource developed?
The content of Connections was produced by the Hunter Institute of Mental Health and is based on international evidence, expert opinion and best practice.
Extensive consultation has been undertaken with early childhood educators across Australia, as well as early childhood peak bodies, to shape the resource and ensure it is useful, relevant and suitable for child care and early learning services.
How can I receive a copy of Connections?
A hard copy of Connections was distributed to all long day care, family day care, preschool and out of school hours care services in Australia at the end of 2014.
Click on the image below to download Connections: A resource for early childhood educators about children’s wellbeing (PDF)
An electronic copy can also be downloaded from the Department of Education and Training website
How can I find out more?
For more information about the Connections resource, please contact the Hunter Institute of Mental Health on (02) 4924 6900 or firstname.lastname@example.org