The Schools as Community Centres Project (SaCC) is funded by Families NSW, a NSW Government initiative. The SaCC Project is part of NSW Governments commitment to social justice and improving prevention and early intervention support for families with young children. The Project is supported by the Department of Education and Communities, Health, Housing and Disability, Ageing and Home Care. The Department of Education and Communities is the lead agency responsible for the administration of the program.
The SaCC program uses a community development approach to developing opportunities and programs for families with children in the birth to eight years age range and values the opportunity to partner with local agencies and organisations.
The Project recognises the importance of:
- The early years of children’s development
- The role of parents as their children’s first teachers and
- Connecting families with children to the local community.
The Schools as Community Centres Project Aim.
- To improve the decision making processes relating to the provision of services through increased community participation
- To improve the effectiveness of service provision for families with young children through integration and interagency collaboration
- To increase the confidence and skills of parents in their role and
- To strengthen communities the by building community networks.
The Schools as Community Centres Project Principles.
- Recognising and building on community strengths, assets and skills.
- Prevention and early intervention
- Valuing and reflecting cultural diversity
- Mutually respectful and supportive relationships involving agencies and community members
- Working in partnership and sharing resources
- Participating in the development of networks that promote collaborative planning and accessible services
- Learning as a lifelong process.
Telopea SaCC was established in 2005 and outreaches to the communities of Telopea, Ermington, Rydalmere and Dundas. The school communities of Telopea Public School and Yates Ave Public School receive onsite support. Telopea SaCC operates five days a week during school term. The full time Local Facilitator, Pip Martins, ensures continuity of support and smooth delivery of service.
Ongoing programs at Telopea SaCC include Supported Playgroups, ‘Jiggle and Jam’ baby music classes, ‘Meet and Greet’ information sessions with Child and Family Health Professionals, ‘Sing Rhyme and Story Time’ Early Literacy groups, ‘New Parent’s Group’ offering social opportunities for new parents and Australian Red Cross Breakfast Club.
Additional needs based programs include Parenting workshops and information sessions, First Aid Training and additional TaFE Outreach programs, Health and Nutrition Education, Early Childhood Development information workshops and Transition to School programs.