Kids on Collins, in the heart of Melbourne, has been a member of the Achievement Program since 2019 and recently the service gained recognition for the Safe Environments health priority area.
Kids on Collins Educational Leader, Lynda Garland, said the Achievement Program’s benchmarks and toolkits were really helpful resources.
“We used the program’s resources to build an understanding of where we were starting from and what we needed to do next in order to work towards meeting best practice guidelines.”
To support a safe physical environment, the service ensures rooms are designed to suit the individual needs of children. The building has been purpose-built with accessibility in mind; all doorways are extra wide; the playgrounds have ramp access and there are appropriate toileting facilities for persons with a disability.
The service has implemented several safety policies specific to their setting needs, including a Child Safe Policy incorporating Cyber Safety procedures, Technology Usage Policy, Interactions with Children Policy and Promoting Equity and Anti-Bias Policy.
Kids on Collins operate a SunSmart service and use programs including the Starting out Safely Road Safety program, Kids Alive and Playing IT Safe program by The Alannah and Madeline Foundation to plan suitable educational and safety programs for children.
Educators at Kids on Collins have access to professional development sessions and teaching resources and are up to date with the most recent advice from
The service supports families by displaying safety resources in their Family Health and Wellbeing area and sending weekly emails, highlighting common safety concerns around the home. The service is equipped to link families to services if safety concerns arise in relation to family violence, child protection or other social concerns.
Kids on Collins celebrate their rich multi-cultural service community, using the Aboriginal Cultural Safety Framework to guide practice and inform the children's learning, and inviting families to contribute to their Calendar of Events.
As a result of working through this health area, the service has reported wonderful changes: Families are more prepared to ensure safety measures in their homes, there is an increased focus on teaching the children about cyber safety, and cultural safety has become a more familiar and important concept in the service, recognising the importance of an environment that is culturally inclusive for the whole service community.
“Working with the Achievement Program has helped us to understand the wealth of valuable Health and Wellbeing resources that are available to children, families and educators,” Mrs Garland said.
“We are much more aware of how to connect families and children with agencies that can support a diverse range of needs. We feel more confident to share information about health, safety and wellbeing - both face to face with families or if the family member isn’t quite ready to talk about their challenge just yet, via our Mental Health and Wellbeing area.”
Kids on Collins are continuing their Achievement Program journey, by working towards their remaining health priority areas.