Workshop and Paper Presentations

We would like to thank all presenters who attended the 2018 conference. We had a wide variety of choice in relation to topics, and some of the presenters have been able to provide a copy of their presentation slides for those who attended their presentation or workshop. As presentations are received, they will be posted here.



Every Child Making a Confident Start

Hannah Simpson - Mareeba State School

At Mareeba State School, we value the importance of 'Every child making a confident start' by having positive transitions between home, early childhood and school. Current research, AEDC and school data continues to highlight the positive impact of early intervention. There are two main parts to our school's approach to foundations for success. The first approach is the 'school transition program', which involves working with children, parents and families, and the second approach is the 'Mareeba Early Childhood Community Network'.

The school transition program provides families and children the opportunity to participate in a range of transition activities over the course of the school year. One significant activity that we developed in 2017 is the 'Prep 4 Prep' program. 'Prep 4 Prep' invites families to attend information sessions and children to visit and participate in prep class activities. It is an 8 week program, which is offered to families in Term 4.

The Mareeba Early Childhood Community Network is a collaborative approach to the Early Years, which involved working with other community agencies and participating in professional networking. Both public and Catholic schools, all Early Years Services and interagency services in the area are active members of the network. The network meets 1-2 times per term and the agenda is co-designed. In 2017 the network worked together to create and 'I wonder' about school book.

We have a strong philosophy at our school that making a difference in the early years makes a difference.

Download the presentation slides.



Building Resilience in Children aged 0 - 12

Dr. Rebecca Wright - beyondblue

Resilience is broadly understood as the ability to bounce back from adverse life events and is an important protective factor for good mental health. However, there has been significant debate and divergent views about how to best define, build and measure resilience - particularly in relation to children. The early and middle years is a time when individual, community and environmental risk and protective factors are most influential, and when the onset of mental health conditions begin to emerge. Acting early is critical to addressing this. This presentation reports on new research commissioned by beyondblue which consolidates and extends current knowledge about children's resilience, resulting in the development of a new practice guide. The Building Resilience in Children (0-12 years) Practice Guide is informed by the findings of existing international and new beyondblue research involving consensus-building among Australian experts, in-depth consultations with professionals working with children and families, and the lived experiences, perceptions and voices of parents and children. The practice guide, including a framework for how to build children's resilience, will assist professionals working with young children and their families across early childhood education and care, primary schools, welfare and community-based health and mental health settings. The framework and implications for practice in the early years will be discussed together with recommendations for professionals working with children, parents and families, and communities.

Download the presentation slides.



 The Dual Role of Parents During the Transition to Formal Schooling

Grant A. Webb - Department of Education & Central Queensland University

Children progress through a number of life transitions and each is a pivotal point of development for them, their parents and family members. While existing literature places a strong focus on understanding and supporting children as they make this transition, little focus has been placed on the experiences of their parents.

This presentation will be based on the findings of a recent Queensland research project which aimed to describe and interpret parents' narratives of their experiences as their child transitioned to school. This study has lead to a better understanding of the parents' lived experiences during this transition and a better understanding of the ways in which parents shape and are shaped by their children's developmental transitions and how parents support their child's transitions.

This presentation will initially provide a short overview of the current literature in the area and the project's methodology. The project will then share the 'stories' of eight parents' experiences as their child transitioned to formal schooling and the implications for practice.

Finally, the presentation will explain how the results of this study have relevance for schools and systems as they develop and review policies and practices. The presentation will assert that governments, schools and educators have an increased role in supporting parents with their changing roles, responsibilities and relationships as their child transitions to school. Schools and systems will also be challenged to engage in a strengths-based approach to support parents at this pivotal time in their own and their child's growth and development.

Download the presentation slides.



Feasibility and Acceptability of Using Telehealth for Early Intervention Parenting Support

Nicki Owen - Queensland Health

Currently Early Intervention Parenting Clinicians (EIPC/EIC) (social workers or psychologists) provide counselling through most child health centres across Queensland, with parents or guardians of children under the age of eight years old who are having caregiving difficulties. With financial assistance from the Telehealth Support Unit, a trial has been set up in 12 child health centres/services to explore parent counselling through telehealth and this research evaluates both the parents' and clinicians' experience of the trial, to inform future service delivery options.

The trial aimed to support skill development in clinicians and engagement and this was done by: providing the video conference (VC) equipment; VC technical and training sessions for clinicians and peer support to increase the clinicians' skills and confidence in using telehealth.

Parents engaged in the video conference counselling through their computers or mobile phone and were linked into the Qld Health system using the Telehealth Portal.

This research is still in progress, but 8 parents/families have participated in the research project and 13 clinicians. The parents were interested in using this mode of service delivery due to: distance to travel in rural/remote areas, work commitments, lack of child care options and health issues restricting travel. Although a majority of the parents experienced some minor technical difficulties with the VC, all would use VC for future counselling sessions. When asked what mode of service delivery they would prefer, half the parents involved would like a combination of face-to-face and video conference. All parents except one improved in their feelings of parenting efficacy and satisfaction after completing the counselling.

Download the presentation slides.

Early Years Conference - Today’s Children - Tomorrow’s Future

The conference is Financially Supported by the Australian Government Department of Social Services