KidsMatter Early Childhood provides a framework to enable long day care and preschool teachers and staff, parents and carers to work together to create settings that better support children’s social and emotional development.
The initiative provides a continuous improvement framework to enable early childhood and care services to plan and implement evidence based mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention strategies.
On 5 October 2009 the Minister for Health and Ageing, the Hon Nicola Roxon MP, announced funding of $6.5 million (GST inclusive) over three years to develop KidsMatter Early Childhood and conduct an Australia-wide pilot.
KidsMatter Early Childhood is a national mental health promotion, prevention and early intervention initiative specifically developed for early childhood education and care (ECEC) services.
Child and infant mental health is recognised as a field of inquiry in the international research literature and has received increased attention in recent decades.
The mental health and wellbeing of Australian children is an important and legitimate concern of the government.
No. KidsMatter does not screen individual children for mental health difficulties, nor does it diagnose or label children as having mental disorders or illnesses.
There are different ways to get involved, depending on whether you represent a school, early childhood service, are a carer for children, or a health and community professional.
There are many ways you can support children’s mental health and wellbeing - you could start by furthering your knowledge of the subject.
KidsMatter Early Childhood was piloted in over 100 long day care centres and preschools during 2010 and 2011 following the success of the KidsMatter Primary pilot.
KidsMatter Primary was piloted in 100 primary schools between 2007 and 2008, and was found to significantly improve children's mental health and wellbeing.
Approximately 800 Australian primary schools have been involved in KidsMatter Primary, and the number is growing every week. It is funded to be rolled out to 2000 schools by June 2014.
Families are in the best position to recognise when things are not quite okay with their child or children - there are many ways of seeking advice and support if you are worried.
KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing initiative for primary schools and early childhood education and care services – like preschools, kindergartens and day care centres.
KidsMatter is underpinned by a body of leading national and international research, expert opinion, and experience in the field of children’s mental health and wellbeing, early childhood and education.
The KidsMatter Initiatives have been developed in collaboration with beyondblue, the Australian Psychological Society, Early Childhood Australia, Principals Australia and, with funding from, the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing and beyondblue.
The wellbeing of children is important to all Australians, yet there are troubling rates of mental health difficulties among children.