What’s On and What’s On Hold for Children in Shire

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A special edition of the popular What’s On for Children flier has been produced to advise of changes to programs and services accessed by Children and Families during COVID-19 Government Stage 3 restrictions

The What’s On for Children in Central Goldfields formerly known as the Stuff for kids and families in the Central Goldfields flier is usually distributed throughout the shire every term providing information about free activities. It is a reference point for families and services to promote what’s on during each school term with a focus on local services such as playgroups, family and general support services, and library services.

The first flier originated from members of the Maryborough (Vic) Mighty Mothers Group over four years ago and was further developed by the Go Goldfields Children and Families Partnership and Central Goldfields Shire Council.

In response to COVID-19 service adjustments, the Go Goldfields Children and Families Partnership quickly formed a communications sub-group including Best Start, Bendigo District Aboriginal Cooperative (BDAC), Department of Education and Training (DET) and Anglicare. Their priority is to update the community about what services were on hold or had changed their operations and the What’s On flier was identified as a great option for these communications.

“Collaborating with this initiative aligns with Best Starts’ overall objectives of improving outcomes for children”, said Merran Fleming, Best Start Facilitator, Maryborough District Health Service (MDHS).

The next stage of these communications will center on the updating of the Build Your Village Here website, a comprehensive parenting database for the Central Goldfields. This is another community-driven resource and was formed out of the Central Goldfields Child Aware Local Initiative (CALI) project led by local community leaders including Kim Skyring, Chair of the Go Goldfields Children and Families Partnership. The CALI group received a NAPCAN – National Association for Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect – Play Your Part Award, for initiating this response to reducing isolation for local families.

“Parenting can be so isolating”, said Maree Elliott, a group member. “The website supports parents to create their own ‘village’ by offering information that will enable them to take advantage of the amazing services and activities our community offers.”

The Children and Families pandemic communications group acknowledge the range of emergency relief, legal, and support services that families require at this time and the dedication of our local front-line workers to continue to provide these much-needed services.

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