About LEAP ahead in Braybrook- the Early Years Integration project
Overview of the project
LEAP ahead in Braybrook is the name of an innovative, integrated model of early years programs co-located at the Braybrook Community Hub site. The LEAP ahead model development has been funded jointly by cohealth and Maribyrnong Council and acts as a call to action to strengthen service delivery and the community wellbeing for families with young children 0-6 years with a strong prevention, early intervention and neighbourhood focus. The model builds on a strong foundation of existing partnerships and integrated planning from the Revitalising Braybrook Action Plan (2013-15).
The LEAP ahead model is not a plan to amalgamate services into one entity or a ‘one size fits’ all approach, rather it recognises partner agencies retain diverse perspectives and independence; however come together to pool some aspects of resources, funding, reporting and staffing to achieve results to complex family and community issues that could not be achieved with single agency approaches. It recognises that each agency brings different assets to the model and what is innovative is the introduction of new structures for jointly run programs, promotion of multi-disciplinary teamwork and interchangeable roles. These structures encourage more effective exchange of information, knowledge and skills and enable all partners to see the ‘big picture’ vision and share responsibility for action.
LEAP ahead in Braybrook
Our vision: to demonstrate integrated, multi-agency, early support for families with young children in Braybrook.
The LEAP ahead Governance group members
• cohealth community health services, one of the largest community health services in Australia,
• Maribyrnong City Council (including Early years, Maternal and Child Health, Playgroups, Library, Community centre),
• Melbourne City Mission as the kindergarten and occasional care provider
• Dinjerra Primary School.
We would like to acknowledge the valuable input of the project Parent Advisory group representing local families.
Other partners involved in the Maribyrnong Early Years Alliance, funded by Best Start are; Tweddle Child and Family Centre, Catholic Care, Early Childhood Management services (ECMS), Caroline Chisholm and Mackillop Family Services.
LEAP ahead stands for the following common principles of practice developed from the points of synergy across partner organisations. They are;
• L for Leadership in Early years – cross-sectoral leadership and teamwork to gain collective impact beyond single agency, or single funding approaches, reduce fragmentation of activities for families and streamline common functions over time, shared problem-solving. Cross-sectoral leadership that is able to negotiate differences between partners in terms of power, values and priorities is critical to successful integration (Valentine et al 2007)
• E for Expectations – high, all want a good start in life, all want the best for our little kids, we have already been working well together and we can do better in the new building, working together adds value to existing programs, working together encourages 2-3 years of child and family engagement before school entry.
• A for All working together –parents and professionals and community are all working together, parents are their child’s first teachers, effective parenting is a concern for both men and women, coordination of levels of government, ownership of the model is shared so can monitor progress from community point of view, one set of outcomes is widely understood with multi-levels of interventions contributing, no one intervention can address complexity.
• P for place based-tuning into this neighbourhood, building on local assets, history and strengths, community pride, responding to diversity, local solutions to local problems, a local pathway of Contact for further information
Judi Gray Project Manager Early Years Integration, cohealth email@example.com
Grace Nicol, Coordinator, Early Years Maribyrnong City Counci