[Sub ID 4715] Playgroups, pre-accredited training and child care for young parents (Kimberley Place)

Submission ID: 4715
Organisation name: Kimberley Place
Contact name: Mr Phillip McEvoy
State: VIC
Contact email: omearamcevoy@kimberleyplace.org.au
Contact number: 0412427576

Which priority group of the Try, Test and Learn Fund does your idea support?
Young parents

What need or issue are you trying to address?
Young parents face additional barriers to employment. Many young parents did not complete high school and have no recognised work experience having never entered full-time work. Young parents are not currently serviced by any existing Employment Services programs until their youngest child reaches school age. By the time participation in JobActive becomes compulsory, many young parents are several years behind their peers in terms of work readiness, training and experience. Additionally, it can be difficult for young parents to find a flexible role that allows them to meet the needs of their child settling into primary school, especially given that this sort of flexibility usually comes once a person has some tenure in their role.

It can be difficult for young parents to transition their child into early education or childcare. Cost can be a barrier, and in our experience young parents have more difficulty separating from their child for short periods of time, and working through the inevitable ‘teething issues’ that any child will encounter in their first few weeks of any childcare or kindergarten program.

What is your idea?
Integrated approach to prepare young parents to enter or return to the workforce. Provide a pathway for young parents that alleviates their anxiety around separating from their child, and also focusses on the needs of the child with a slow transition from a playgroup setting to part-time flexible child care, and finally regular childcare to allow the parent to participate in work. Provide young parents with pre-accredited training in a flexible environment, in the same location as their child, with other young parents who are also working through similar challenges. Commencing with a facilitated playgroup for parents and children to allow for early identification of additional needs and barriers- for both the parent and the child. Identifying other supports and interventions from other allied services, for example mental health issues, early childhood intervention for any developmental concerns or health issues in children.

Easing parents into regular participation in facilitated playgroups which provide skill-building sessions for parents in the same room as their children.

Gradually transitioning children into part-time childcare to allow parents to participate in structured weekly training on-site.

Once children are settled in childcare and parents have completed pre-accredited training to build their skills in readiness for job seeking, supporting parents through the process of searching and applying for roles, preparing for interviews and identifying appropriate opportunities with some flexibility to allow them to continue meeting the needs of their child. Provide parents with regular access to computers, phone and internet if necessary.

For parents who are seeking additional support in finding a role but haven’t yet reached compulsory participation in JobActive, assist them with voluntary self-referrals to JobACtive where appropriate.