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Children’s voices to be promoted in Middle Years action plan

Published on 14 September 2018

Platypus Education Group

Young people and their families will be included in planning and implementing services that affect them, thanks to a new action plan focused on middle years children.

Council recently released its Middle Years Strategic Action Plan 2017-2021, which details feedback from young people and families and outlines priorities to improve service delivery for children aged 8-14.

Priorities in the action plan include:

  • Promoting the voice and opinions of middle years young people
  • Piloting a place-based, comprehensive Middle Years Model
  • Developing a response to service gaps and environmental issues that impact on the middle years
  • Ensuing middle years young people benefit from connected and informed services and supports that enhance their health and wellbeing

Yarra Ranges Council Mayor, Len Cox, said the action plan was created using comments and feedback from middle years-aged children, their families, school communities and service providers.

“Children aged from 8-14 are going through a time of rapid change and growth, but often don’t have services or programs they can connect with outside of school,” Cr Cox said.

“They’re forming friendships and learning more about the world, but can feel out of place without services designed especially for them.

“The children told us they need spaces, programs and social opportunities outside of school, more opportunities to be involved in sport, better public transport, and the opportunity to discuss issues such as bullying.

“We’ll use this action plan to shape what we do to, including engaging more with young people on things that affect them.”

The action plan has already resulted in a number of projects being implemented, such as a brokerage program, which aims to collect data through discussions, surveys and consultation to improve services offered by schools and agencies.

Another result of the action plan to date is the rollout of the Middle Years Development Instrument, which will allow Council to receive ongoing input from middle years children in priority areas of the municipality.

For more information, or to read the action plan in full, visit the Middle Years Strategic Action Plan page.