4 September 2017

YWCA Canberra’s Winyu Early Childhood Service in Gungahlin has received the 2017 National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect (NAPCAN) ACT Play Your Part Award, and in doing so becomes the first childcare provider to be recognised in this category.

The Play Your Part Awards focus on primary prevention initiatives, which reduce children’s risk of experiencing abuse and neglect, contribute to keeping kids safe, and provide them with communities in which they can thrive.

Winyu is designed based on early childhood trauma informed practice, based on internationally renowned research that focuses on building community and responding to potential vulnerabilities such as those identified in the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC).

Winyu Early Childhood Service is one of the four early childhood education and care services run by the YWCA Canberra in the ACT and NSW.

YWCA Canberra’s Executive Director, Frances Crimmins said, “primary prevention initiatives happen every day in our early childhood services, from our recruitment practices and policies, through to the operations of our service.

“Winyu is a great example of how trauma informed practice and great relationships with community services lead to great outcomes for children and their families.

“Funded places through the Office of Child, Youth and Family Services allows the Winyu team to support families that are experiencing vulnerabilities, and provide free access to education and care when they need it the most,” she said.

Winyu’s mixed age platform allows children to create longstanding attachments with students and educators, building a sense of connection and belonging to the community that can last from infancy through to formal schooling.

It also has a gender-neutral philosophy, which challenges gender stereotypes from early childhood, promoting a sense of gender equality and inclusion, and ensuring all children are treated equally and are respected as individuals.

YWCA Canberra collaborates with many support services to ensure that children can continue their early education when funding ceases, and provides regular feedback to families and support services about the development progress of each child.

YWCA Canberra’s Early Childhood Service manager, Louise Billman said, “through strong partnerships with community services such as the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP), Gungahlin Child and Family Service (GCFS) and Child Protection, we facilitate flexible, personalised educational opportunities that stabilise the family, and enable families to continue to access our service.”

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Frances Crimmins and Louise Billman are available for interview

Media contact: Kelli-anne Bertram 0429 210 881

Download: Media release – YWCA Canberra recognised for excellence in early childhood trauma informed practice

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