Programs and services for families and professionals

A person painting a childs face at the Wurun Chidl and Family Place opening

We offer a range of support for children and families across Yarra Ranges with the aim to strengthen parenting, engagement, community connections and social interactions for families with children 0-12 years.

We provide a wide range of services, programs and referral pathways to specialist service providers to help children reach their full potential.

For further information about services and programs for families and children within Yarra Ranges please contact the Family and Children's Service team: 1300 368 333, earlyyears@yarraranges.vic.gov.au, or follow us on Facebook at Yarra Ranges Families.

Bookaburra storytime

Bookaburra Volunteer Storytellers run FREE interactive sessions including stories, rhymes and fun (excluding school holidays). No booking required!

These sessions are open to all families with children aged 0-5 years.

Learn more about Bookaburra and look up session times.

Preschool Field officers

Preschool Field Officers (PSFO) provide support to state-funded preschools to assist in improving access and participation for children with additional needs, at no cost to the preschool or the family.

This support includes children who are receiving Early Start Kindergarten and Access to Early Learning funding.

The PSFO’s aim to encourage the inclusion of children with additional needs into state funded 3 and 4-year-old preschool programs.

Support to educators may include:
  • provision of information, planning support and resources,
  • supporting a preschool educator’s identification of a child with additional needs
  • supporting a preschool educator’s confidence and capacity to respond to a parent’s concerns regarding their child’s development,
  • coaching and modelling of specific skills, suggestions and strategies with educators to include children into the program,
  • identification of referral pathways and facilitation of linkages for families to the range of child and family supports, including more specialised assessment and services where indicated.
Our PSFOs recognise that families are the child’s first teacher, know their child best and can provide important information regarding the child’s development.

PSFOs can support educators to build a trusting and respectful relationship with families that enable educators to plan and provide for the ongoing learning and development of the child in the preschool program.

In order to access this program, the kindergarten must get permission from the family and complete a referral form before connecting with PSFO.

Preschool or families can make a referral to the service using the PSFO referral form.

For more information about the Yarra Ranges Preschool Field Officer Program contact us on 1300 368 333 or by email at psfo@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

 

Playgroups

Supported Playgroups

Yarra Ranges Council provide free weekly Supported ‘Smalltalk’ Playgroups sessions to eligible families with children 0-5 years (during school terms), facilitated by qualified Early Childhood professionals.

The Victorian Government funded ‘Smalltalk’ Supported Playgroups build upon new and everyday ways to support children’s language and learning.

We also offer In-Home support. Watch a short video to find out more about our program.

For more information about ‘Smalltalk’ Supported Playgroup, locations, eligibility and to register, contact the Yarra Ranges Council Early Years team at earlyyears@yarraranges.vic.gov.au or on 1300 368 333.

Community Playgroups

Community Playgroups provide an opportunity for parents/carers and children to connect with one other and build social connections with other families in their community.

Across Yarra Ranges playgroups are offered by community health services, schools and kindergartens, community houses or a stand-alone playgroup service.

For information about community playgroups in Yarra Ranges visit: www.playgroup.org.au/ or contact the Yarra Ranges Council Early Years team at earlyyears@yarraranges.vic.gov.au or on 1300 368 333.

 

Linking Families Service

Linking Families Service can support families residing in the Upper Yarra with information about:

  • Child development
  • Health and behaviour
  • Accessing early years services
  • Accessing fee subsidies
  • Referrals to family support services

For further information please contact the Linking Families Officer by phone on 1300 368 333 or email earlyyears@yarraranges.vic.gov.au

 

Yarra Ranges Best Start

Best Start is a Victoria Government early years initiative that supports families, caregivers and communities to provide the best possible environment, experiences and care for young children from birth through to school.

We are one of 30 Best Start project sites across the state of Victoria, and aim to improve long term health, learning and development outcomes for children 0-8 years at a local level.

Best Start supports communities, parents and service providers to improve universal early years services including maternal and child health (MCH), preschool and supported playgroups, so they are responsive to local needs. It has a strong emphasis on prevention and early intervention.

These improvements are expected to result in:

  • better access to child and family support, health services and early education
  • improvements in parents’ capacity, confidence and enjoyment of family life 
  • communities that are more child and family friendly. 

For more information about Best Start contact the Early Years Team by phone on 1300 368 333 or by email at earlyyears@yarraranges.vic.gov.au.

Programs and Events

Yarra Ranges Council Early Years team provide a range of programs and events for children, families and early childhood professionals across Yarra Ranges.

These may include; school holiday activities, community events & celebrations such as Children’s Week and National Families Week, parent/carer and educator information sessions and Maternal and Child Health parenting programs.

To find out what is happening for families and children across Yarra Ranges like and follow our Yarra Ranges Families Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/yrfamilies

Have a question? Contact the Early Years Team at earlyyears@yarraranges.vic.gov.au or 1300 368 333.