Programmed Thank You

Early Connections – Coffs Coast would like to thank the team at Programmed Coffs Harbour for the generous donation of HP laptops. Continue Reading Programmed Thank You

Early Connections – Coffs Coast would like to thank the team at Programmed for the generous donation of HP laptops.

These laptops will enable our team to be more mobile and flexible in the supports we can provide to our children and families.

Speech Pathology Week 2017

During Speech Pathology Week, from 20-26 August, Early Connections encourages parents to think about their children’s communication. Continue Reading Speech Pathology Week 2017

Seeking support early for children with communication disabilities is life changing

Early Connections Alliance encourage parents to seek support early if there are warning signs of learning delays and difficulties.

During Speech Pathology Week, from 20-26 August, the Alliance encourages parents to think about their children’s communication and if they are concerned they can call for advice about Early Childhood Intervention, the NDIS and supports currently available.

The Alliance supports Speech Pathology Australia’s call for greater action to ensure communication accessibility for all.

“Developmental language disorder affects between five and eight per cent of children Australia-wide. But with the right intervention everyone can participate fully and be included in the community,” said Caryn Maher, Manager, Early Connections Coffs Coast.

“Early Childhood Intervention is key to help children with communication disabilities. Like mobility or wheelchair access, communication access enables people with communication disorders to get their message across by removing barriers to communication or providing extra strategies,” added Caryn.

What is communication accessibility?

“Communication accessibility can be as easy as rephrasing your question in simple language, using pictures, writing, gestures or symbols to help get across your message.

“For businesses, it might mean including plain English signage with symbols and pictures as well as words; or training staff so they are able to communicate successfully with a person with a communication difficulty.”

Early Connections Alliance is a network of five registered not for profits working together to create a strong and connected Early Childhood Intervention Network on the Mid North Coast.

“Our communities need to be accessible for everyone, including people with communication difficulties, physical disabilities, reading difficulties, vision impairment, hearing impairment and intellectual disability,” added Caryn.

Building communication accessibility will ensure that everyone is treated with dignity and respect. Contact us to find out more. 

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Thank You

A big thank you to our community for supporting our sausage sizzle at Bunnings this past Saturday. We raised over $2,000!! Continue Reading Bunnings Sausage Sizzle Thank You

A big thank you to our community for supporting our sausage sizzle at Bunnings this past Saturday.

And a huge thank you to our local ANZ branch who volunteered their time to cook & serve and for generously supplying the sausages, bread, drinks and everything else that was needed on the day.

Our sausage sizzle was a fantastic success raising over $2,000!!

MyTime for Term 3

Our MyTime Group welcomes parents and carers. Join us for MyTime for Term 3 every Friday starting 28 July 2017. Continue Reading MyTime for Term 3

Join us for MyTime for Term 3 every Friday starting 28 July 2017.

Click Here to view this Term’s calendar.

Our MyTime group provides support for mothers, fathers, grandparents and anyone caring for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition.

Parents can socialise and share ideas with others who understand the rewards and intensity of the caring role.

Our MyTime Group welcomes parents and carers – including mums, dads, grandparents and the principal carer – who are eligible for the Carer Allowance (Child) for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition.

Parents and carers can:

•  meet others in similar circumstances
•  have fun, hear from others and share experiences
•  find out about available community support
•  get extra parenting information and skills development
•  make time for themselves while children play, supported by a play helper.

Depending on what the group wants to do, our facilitator will guide group activities or provide resources.

Thank You Coffs Quilters & Needlecraft

A very big thank you to Coffs Quilters & Needlecraft for their generous donation to our local Early Intervention Service supporting young children with disabilities. Continue Reading Thank You Coffs Quilters & Needlecraft

A very big thank you to Coffs Quilters & Needlecraft for their generous donation to our local Early Intervention Service supporting young children with disabilities.

There is always a shortfall in the money we receive in government grants and the real cost of running a service. Support from groups on the Coffs Coast such as this make a difference in the services we are able to offer local families.

We can’t thank our local community enough for their wonderful support of Early Connections – Coffs Coast.

Bunnings Fundraising Sausage Sizzle

We have been lucky enough to hold a fundraising sausage sizzle at Bunnings Warehouse Coffs Harbour on 12 August 2017. Continue Reading Bunnings Fundraising Sausage Sizzle

We have been lucky enough to hold a fundraising sausage sizzle at Bunnings Warehouse Coffs Harbour on 12 August 2017.

We’d love a few more volunteers to join us in sizzling it up on the day.

If you can cook, assemble or serve we really need your help.

Your time will help raise valuable funds for our programs.

If you can spare a few hours, please call us on 02 6652 8080.

Positive Parenting Program Live Webinars

From mealtime tantrums to super market meltdowns, Stepping Stones Triple P helps parents sort through the big and small issues of family life- and raise happy and confident children. Continue Reading Positive Parenting Program Live Webinars

Stepping Stones is part of the world acclaimed Triple P – Positive Parenting Program that gives parents skills to manage misbehaviour and prevent problems from happening in the first place.

From mealtime tantrums to super market meltdowns, Stepping Stones Triple P helps parents sort through the big and small issues of family life- and raise happy and confident children.

We are excited that Triple P are offering a live general WEBINAR to all parents who have registered or expressed interest to attend the program but have not been able to reach any of the face to face sessions.

Webinar Details

10am-11am Thursday 6 July 2017 – LIVE ONLINE WEBINAR

Seminar 1: Positive Parenting for Children with a Disability

11am-12.30pm Thursday 6 July 2017 – LIVE ONLINE WEBINAR

Seminar 2: Helping Your Child Reach Their Potential

10am-11.30am Thursday 13 July 2017 – LIVE ONLINE WEBINAR

Seminar 3: Changing Problem Behaviour into Positive Behaviour

Parents can follow this link to take you to the registration page.

My NDIS – Janalia’s Story

Alunya admits before her daughters NDIS plan was approved she was in a panic. But she says parents shouldn’t be concerned. Continue Reading My NDIS – Janalia’s Story

National Disability Insurance Scheme brings more support for children with disabilities

Six year old, Janalia has Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy and before the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) she received Better Start funding.

“The Better Start funding meant Janalia had access to the wonderful therapists at Early Connections on a monthly basis,” said Janalia’s mum Alunya Wilkinson.

Alunya admits before her daughters NDIS plan was approved she was in a panic. But she says parents shouldn’t be concerned.

“Janalia is now getting more support than ever and she is becoming so much more independent all because of the NDIS,” said Alunya.

Early Connections Alliance offers Early Childhood Intervention for children aged 0 – 12 with developmental delay or disabilities. We currently support families through the process of transitioning to the NDIS.

“My mind is definitely more at ease, thanks to Early Connections and the NDIS everyday living is easier,” said Alunya.

The Manning and Great Lakes team have successfully transitioned most of their families, including Janalia, to the NDIS.

The scheme became available in Manning and Great Lakes 12 months ago and from July 2017 is rolling out across the Mid North Coast from Port Macquarie to Coffs Harbour.

Setting goals and creating your NDIS plan

Alunya met with her Early Connections Key Worker to map out 6-12 months of goals for Janalia.

“That was the hardest part really, prioritising goals and ultimately how you could achieve them,” said Alunya.

Thanks to Early Connections the process was simple and relaxed. The questions were direct and easy to answer to help coordinate the individual plan.

“It was a great help having the Early Connections Key Worker in the meeting. Someone who knew my child and what she needed and who could ensure nothing was left out,” added Alunya.

Early Connections services include speech therapy, occupational therapy, physiotherapy, child psychology and early childhood teachers.

“The day I received the phone call to say Janalia’s plan had been approved, and to then hear what the package amount was, was the best news ever.

As a mother you want to give your child the absolute best and now Janalia is able to see therapists weekly, for them to visit her in the school environment, talking to the teacher one-on-one about the best ways for her to learn.”

Early Connections – your Registered NDIS Provider Mid North Coast

Early Connections developed a strong action plan and key learnings from the rollout of the NDIS in Manning and Great Lakes.

Our teams across the Mid North Coast are ready to help families and children like Janalia navigate the NDIS.

Connect with us for more information. As a registered NDIS provider Early Connections can help you:

  1. Connect to the NDIS

  2. Create your NDIS plan

  3. Choose your Early Connections individualised therapies

Early Connections Named as Champions of Inclusion

The Early Connections Alliance are proud winners of the ECIA NSW/ACT “Champions of Inclusion” Excellence Award. Continue Reading Early Connections Named as Champions of Inclusion

Winners ECIA AWARD 2017

On Thursday 25th May 2017, Early Childhood Intervention Australia (ECIA) NSW/ACT presented Early Connections with the “Champions of Inclusion” Excellence Award for outstanding achievements in the early childhood intervention (ECI) sector during the ECIA/NSW Conference at the Novotel Brighton Beach, Sydney NSW.

The Excellence Awards was presented on Thursday 25th May 2017 by Margie O’Tarpey, CEO ECIA NSW/ACT during the 2017 Conference, with four awards up for grabs during the ceremony.

Early Connections were announced “Champions of Inclusion” and presented with this award.

“This years’ Excellence Awards was highly competitive and recognised the outstanding achievements of service providers in the early childhood intervention and related sectors” said Margie O’Tarpey, CEO ECIA NSW/ACT.

“This important work has contributed to the improvement of the lives of children with a developmental delay or disability, their families and communities. These awards celebrate and acknowledge teams and organisations that demonstrated national best practice in early childhood intervention and excellence, passion, vision and a commitment to assisting children with a developmental delay or disability and their families to achieve their goals. This is a testament to the outstanding work and commitment displayed to improving the capacity of the early childhood intervention sector during this important time of transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)” noted Margie O’Tarpey.

After receiving the award, Beth Todd – Manager – Early Connections – Port Macquarie/Hastings said “We’re delighted the campaign is shining a light on understanding disabilities and inclusive communities. Early intervention is crucial but inclusive communities throughout a person’s life is essential, we need to look beyond the early years.”

Why is inclusion so important for children with a developmental delay or disability?

“The shift away from the mindset of the need to “fix” an individual to the approach of how best to adapt the community/environment, ensures all children are given the opportunity to be included within their local community. This ultimately gives them the chance to build their capacity for learning through engagement with their peers. We don’t want children to be limited by perceived restrictions that can be associated with the term disability/ developmental delay. Supporting inclusive practices helps us develop a community vision that is compassionate and believes in equality for people and families living with disability.” said Caryn Maher – Program Manager – Early Connections-Coffs Coast.

Accept Difference Campaign Champions Inclusion

Early Connections was responsible for the Accept Difference Project, a multi-media social awareness campaign based on a true story.

“The authenticity of the story made it easy for the audience to relate to. This resulted in the campaign going viral nationally and internationally. The Accept Difference campaign will continue to share stories around inclusion and accepting differences, with the community through our Facebook page and website. It is hoped this campaign will shift from being generated and driven by Early Connections to being managed by people living with disabilities so that the inclusion stories are organic. Through the educational component of the campaign community groups are supported to build their knowledge, skills and abilities and to be better informed and aware of how they can adapt their practices to ensure all people can be included. The focus is on identifying real needs and translating these into grassroots outcomes” said Kylie Guymer – Early Connections, Nambucca Valley.

Excellence Award ‘Champions of Inclusion’

Recognises early childhood intervention services/professionals/teams that have identified and implemented strategies to significantly improve inclusion for children with developmental delay and/or disability and their families:

Sustained inclusive and participatory practice, recognising that every child regardless of their needs has the right to participate fully in their family and community life and to have the same choices, opportunities and experiences as other children

Outstanding commitment to putting in place additional supports for the children to participate meaningfully in their families, community and early childhood settings

The children supported feel accepted and have a real sense of belonging.

Exceptional dedication to promoting children’s inclusion through participation in their natural learning environments and daily routines, at home, in the community, and in early childhood settings.

Raise awareness and advocate for inclusion of children with developmental delay and/or disability and their families.

 

Join Us for MyTime during Term 2

Our MyTime Group welcomes parents and carers. Join Us For MyTime for Term 2 every Friday starting May 5. Continue Reading Join Us for MyTime during Term 2

Join Us For MyTime for Term 2 every Friday starting May 5.

Click Here to view this Term’s calendar.

Our MyTime group provides support for mothers, fathers, grandparents and anyone caring for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition.

Parents can socialise and share ideas with others who understand the rewards and intensity of the caring role.

Our MyTime Group welcomes parents and carers – including mums, dads, grandparents and the principal carer – who are eligible for the Carer Allowance (Child) for a child with a disability or chronic medical condition.

Parents and carers can:

•  meet others in similar circumstances
•  have fun, hear from others and share experiences
•  find out about available community support
•  get extra parenting information and skills development
•  make time for themselves while children play, supported by a play helper.

Depending on what the group wants to do, our facilitator will guide group activities or provide resources.