Kindergartens get Government tick for mental health and wellbeing

Corangamite Shire kids are in good hands with Council’s Early Years Services being recognised for best practice in Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Council Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mason said the milestone was a result of hard work by staff who would keep working with families to ensure children’s wellbeing.

“All Shire managed Kindergarten programs, Child Care and Family Day Care services are involved in the Department of Health and Human Services’ Healthy Early Childhood Services Achievement Program,” Mr Mason said.

The program guides services as they work towards benchmarks for each of six focus areas:

  • Physical Activity;
  • Sun Protection;
  • Safe Environments;
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing;
  • Tobacco, Alcohol and Other Drugs; and
  • Healthy Eating and Oral Health

“The program aims to create a healthy environment using a whole-service approach that includes staff, students, families and the wider community,” Mr Mason said. “It aims to set children up with healthy habits for life.”

The program has helped educators introduce mental and health wellbeing activities to help children learn about:

  • mindfulness and emotional health through play;
  • good mental health to help children to develop socially, emotionally, mentally and physically;
  • respectful relationship with educators and peers;
  • managing feelings; and
  • physical activity and good healthy habits to help build mental health.

They have also introduced remote learning packs for those learning from home

“Our Early Childhood Services are continuously planning, taking action and reviewing results to address those health priority areas,” Mr Mason said. “Once each service achieves the benchmarks for an area, it receives a certificate and health priority area icon sticker which we display with pride. They are a sign of our commitment to the health and wellbeing of everyone in our services.”

Mental health and wellbeing training was be delivered via learning modules on beyondblue’s Be You website. Over the next couple of months, support staff will work with educators, helping them implement the program and support the children.

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