Transcript for Introduction to KidsMatter Early Childhood video

Speaker

Words

Voiceover (Maree, Kidsmatter Facilitator)

Mental health is vital for children’s lifelong learning and wellbeing. Early childhood mental health means that children are able to experience, express and regulate their emotions form close relationships with significant others and interact successfully in their environment. Early Childhood Services are well placed to promote and support children’s mental health and wellbeing. They play a critical role in promoting the factors that support good mental health.

Jo, Early Childhood Educator

It’s very important to support families and help them to make connections with other families.

Sonya, Early Childhood Educator

To make people, especially families, aware of mental health and to be able to discuss mental health with us.

Trish, Early Childhood Educator

Since piloting the KidsMatter Early Childhood Initiative we’ve learnt that it’s our role to educate and to guide and support families and children to become more in-tune with the term ‘mental health’ and the importance of positive mental health.

Maree, Kidsmatter Facilitator

Being mentally healthy in early childhood means that children are more likely to have good social and emotional skills, are more likely to achieve greater success at school and better lifelong outcomes. KidsMatter Early Childhood is a national mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention initiative. KidsMatter strengthens educators’ skills, knowledge and confidence to support children’s mental health and wellbeing, and this is achieved through a risk and protective factor framework. These risk and protective factors are described in the four Components that make up KidsMatter. The services are engaged in professional learning that is delivered to them by their State or Territory Facilitator, and that Facilitator also guides the services through a step-by-step implementation process and this is aided by a number of KidsMatter resources.

Jo, Early Childhood Educator

We’ve become much more explicit in our conversations about mental health and wellbeing. We’ve become more explicit in the way that we talk to children about their feelings and emotions and things. And we’ve put into place quite a few additional things to help families develop those connections.

Joanne, Parent

Some of the things we’ve done outside the kindy program is go on nature walks with some of the teachers and some of the other classmates. And this has been a great opportunity to get that connectedness between home and kindy.

Sonya, Early Childhood Educator

We’d like children to be able to view themselves as successful learners here and to feel competent and happy and secure.

Jamie, Parent

They are encouraging our children, especially the kindies, to talk with each other to share experiences to communicate through many different mediums. Through painting, through thoughts, through words, through actions.

Trish, Early Childhood Educator

Yeah, the room curriculums are committed to provide experiences and interactions and discussions with children about their emotions. And, again, that promotes a strong sense of belonging and connectedness and wellbeing.

Voiceover

What makes you smile lots and laugh?

Child 1

When Daddy tickles me.

Woman 6

When Daddy tickles you?

Child 2

My Dad does that too.

Voiceover

Does he? And does that make you happy?

 

[Child 2 smiles and nods]

Heather, Early Childhood Educator

In most of our rooms we have created areas where parents can come in the mornings and spend time with their child.

Rebecca, Parent

I think that we’re—all the parents and carers—are a lot more comfortable talking about the social and emotional wellbeing of our children.

Elizabeth, Parent

And just after the Centre started with KidsMatter we lost a very close member of our family. And over a period of weeks and months we noticed that he was really unhappy in the room that he was in. And the staff were fantastic in the way they really tapped into what his interests were developed a whole program around his interest in gardening. They actually worked with me very closely and with Jarvis to make sure he was in the right room, and progressed him into another room so he could be with his sister and be much happier.

Maree, KidsMatter Facilitator

So young children develop their social and emotional skills through their relationships they experience in their lives. KidsMatter Early Childhood, the Early Years Learning Framework and the National Quality Standards all have relationships at their core and aim to develop children’s social and emotional wellbeing.

Jo, Early Childhood Educator

It fits with quite a few of them really clearly and obviously, some of the Standards. But I think that it goes across the board. Again, they’re all about relationships, making connections, supporting diversity, supporting families, supporting children. And it will be one of the things that we use to show that we are actually meeting those Standards.

Heather, Early Childhood Educator

And the KidsMatter resources have really helped us to implement the Early Years Learning Framework as well, so they’ve gone hand-in-hand.

Rebecca, Parent

I want them to lead rewarding lives. I want them to feel like they belong and they’re valued. And be risk-takers, lifelong learners.

Joanne, Parent

To be resilient. To be able to bounce back with some of the curve balls life throws at them, I guess.

Jamie, Parent

It is one of the most important parts of a curriculum, I think, to prepare them to deal with advancement but setback in equal measure. So, having that as part of their—their learning from day one is a huge assistance. And not just assistance, it’s an essential.

Trish, Early Childhood Educator

So, educators have a better understanding of why social and emotional development is so important.

Jo, Early Childhood Educator

And it’s actually—KidsMatter has given us a really good lens to look at everything that our service does so that we view a lot of what we put into place now through a mental health and wellbeing lens as well, so that we get better outcomes for children in that area.