Nido and Connect.Ed: Caring for the Children of South Australia

Research has shown repeatedly that the first five years in a child’s life are crucial for their brain development. This is a unique time to positively influence a child’s development trajectory. A unique partnership in South Australia between Nido Early Schools and developmental specialists, Connect.Ed is helping children in these schools along this development path while also building skills and expertise amongst the educators, parents and caregivers of these children.

Connect.Ed’s early intervention team provides support to 12 Nido Early Schools in South Australia. Their team consists of speech pathologists and psychosocial therapists who provide a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach. The team can provide support for a wide range of developmental needs, offering personalised support that’s as diverse as the children they support.

The team assists children with everything from overcoming speech communication issues, helping them identify anger and frustration, through to helping them develop and implement strategies that help to regulate their emotions.

The engagement process between Nido and Connect.Ed starts when an educator or team leader identifies a child they believe has learning or developmental needs. They will raise this with the parent or carer who can then apply for Early Intervention funding from NDIS to engage with Connect.Ed to support their child.

Connect.Ed’s approach is different to traditional models of early intervention. These interventions take place in the child’s natural environment at our early schools, as opposed to clinic-based interventions. This allows for observation of the children in real-time, interacting with their peers in familiar settings, following their usual routines. This respects the child’s environment while providing the ideal context for intervention.

Another benefit of having these interventions at Nido Early Schools is that the educators and caregivers at the school are involved in the intervention process, learning the skills needed to understand and help the children. This capacity building ensures the strategies and supports remain consistent at the school and at home. This continuity and predictability mean the children see more progress.

This “team around the child” approach has been an incredible success on every level, from the educators who feel more empowered to help the children through to parents, caregivers and, of course, the children who benefit from this help. Connect.Ed will be engaging with even more Nido Early Schools in the coming months.

Through our collaboration with Nido, we can extend crucial early intervention support to more children across South Australia. It’s about providing the right support, at the right time, to ensure that every child has the best possible start in life.” – Kerra-Lee Wescombe, Director at Connect.Ed.