Best Start

Djillay lidji Aboriginal BEST START

An initiative of the Victorian Department of Education and Training, the Best Start program supports families, caregivers and communities to provide the best possible environment, experiences and care for young children in the important years from pregnancy to school.

Best Start aims to give every child the best start in life by bringing local services together to work collaboratively to address challenges faced by families and communities and assist them in supporting parents and caregivers to improve the health, development, learning and wellbeing of all Victorian children (0-8 years).

Aboriginal Best Start are in place to ensure that local Aboriginal communities and organisations are given every possible opportunity to support positive outcomes for their children and families collaboratively, while promoting a strong emphasis on prevention and early intervention,.

Based on formal partnerships of local agencies and service providers to improve the outcomes for children at a localised, targeted level to find solutions to problems faced by families in our area. This approach has been shown to be extremely effective with efforts being focused on boosting children’s participation in the programs we know have the best results for setting them up for success, such as kindergarten and maternal and child health (MCH) services. The program also puts in place prevention strategies, such as providing referral pathways when targeted supports are required.

The over-arching outcomes of Best Start are:

Children engage and participate in early childhood education (kindergarten and supported playgroups).

Children and families actively engage with MCH services, attending key ages and stages visits

The Facilitator responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging and networking effectively with Aboriginal and mainstream services to build relationships, gain commitment from partners and work to keep commitment levels high.
  • The review of data, evidence and local knowledge with the partnership to identify community needs and then to develop key strategies and actions to respond to those needs.
  • Leading local data collection plans and transferring data to the Best Start central data repository.
  • Identifying learnings and opportunities for improvement supporting the Best Start monitoring and reporting framework.

Ramahyuck operates two Aboriginal Best Start Sites, one that services the Latrobe LGA (Local Government Area) and one in the Baw Baw LGA.

Best Start Program Leaflet