Uniting Vic.Tas (Uniting) is a not-for-profit, community services organisation that has worked alongside local communities across Victoria and Tasmania for over 100 years. We deliver a broad range of services in the areas of child and family services, disability, mental health, crisis and housing and homelessness, financial well-being, alcohol and other drugs, early learning and employment.
Uniting supports children and families to create, learn and grow through our high quality learning services. Our passionate, skilled educators nurture children to be confident and creative learners. We see every child as an individual with their own interests and personality.
Uniting supports children and their families, providing early childhood education and family services to strengthen the wellbeing of families and their local communities.
Our 60 early learning services across Victoria and Tasmania have service models that seek to meet family and community needs. Our early learning, family day care, occasional care, kindergarten, out-of-school hours care, and vacation care services help strengthen families, enabling parents to work while balancing their parenting responsibilities. Our Kindergarten Inclusion Support and Preschool Field Officers provide further support for children with additional needs, promoting and strengthening a best start to learning.
The 2016 Census shows that 33% of the Australian population were born overseas (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017). Around 49% of Australians had either been born overseas or one or both of their parents had been born overseas. Over 21% of people speak a language other than English at home, with over 300 languages identified.
Several audits by VAGO have highlighted the ongoing systemic barriers to service access and engagement faced by culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities in Victoria.
These include VAGO reports on:
• Effectively Planning for Population Growth (2017) which found that, in areas of rapid growth, the government struggles to meet its policy objectives of providing universal access to both maternal and child health services and kindergarten services.
• Access to Services by Migrants, Refugees and Asylum Seekers (2014) which found that this population face challenges accessing state services due to financial and eligibility barriers, lack of transport, language barriers and inadequate support to navigate services.
SOURCE: Uniting Vic.Tas. “Victorian Inquiry into Early Childhood Engagement of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities.” Uniting Vic.Tas, 18 October 2019.
The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.
Produced by the librarians at the Brotherhood of St Laurence in Melbourne, Australia