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Introducing our Early Years Steering Group

Children playing at kindergarten in Maldon

A new steering group will help to guide local programs, services and activities that support young children.

Wednesday 16 October 2019

Mount Alexander now has a new expert steering group to guide the development of programs, services and activities to support families and children in the shire.

The Mount Alexander Early Years Steering Group brings together representatives from early years service providers, organisations and the community who are tasked with the responsibility of delivering on the Mount Alexander Early Years Plan 2018 - 2021.

The steering group will play an important role in providing strategic guidance and oversight of the plan to ensure it achieves its vision of ‘creating an innovative and connected community that works together to support our children to reach their full potential’.

The group will also be responsible for implementation, monitoring and evaluation of the plan.

“I was encouraged to apply to be a community representative on the Mount Alexander Early Years Steering Group as a primary home parent of two young children,” said Frog Peck, member and Co-Chair of the Mount Alexander Early Years Steering Group.

“I am acutely aware of what information, programs and services are available for new parents in the region and areas that need further attention.

“The Early Years Plan provides an opportunity to expand on this information and I hope that the steering group can lead the way in helping develop new programs and encourage information sharing with local organisations and parents,” said Mr Peck.

The steering group is made up of people with skills and experience in early years, following an expression of interest process. Members include:

- Frog Peck, parent, Chewton Pool Inc. (Co-Chair)
- Amber Smolak, South Castlemaine Kinder
- Kate Vigo, Parent
- Kate Kent, Victorian Inclusion Agency
- Jenny Balmer, Co-ordinator Maternal and Child Health, Mount Alexander Shire Council
- Kerri Douglas, Koorie Engagement Support Officer, Department of Education and Training
- Rachel Honeychurch, Australian Breastfeeding Association
- Councillor Max Lesser, Mount Alexander Shire Council
- Kylie McMahon, Ballarat YMCA
- Michael McMahon, Manager Housing, Family Services, Quality, Castlemaine and District Community Health
- Jamie Tatarczuk, Early Childhood Performance and Planning Advisor, Department of Education and Training
- Gaynor Atkin, Manager Community Partnerships, Mount Alexander Shire Council (Co-Chair).

The steering group will present updates at each Early Years Forum and via Council’s website.

Members of the group are available to meet with community organisations, businesses and early years services to discuss the Mount Alexander Early Years Plan 2018 – 2021.

Community members can also meet members and pick up a copy of the plan at a Children’s Week celebration coming up at Victory Park in Castlemaine from 4.00pm to 7.00pm on Thursday 24 October.

For more information contact Council on 5471 1700 or visit www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au/Early_Years_Plan.

Image: The steering committee will help to guide programs, services and activities that support local families and children.

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