Nido Early School Embraces Inklings Program for Early Childhood Development

In a groundbreaking move towards early childhood support, Nido Early Schools in Western Australia are stepping up their commitment to the wellbeing of children who are developing differently. At the forefront is Brittany Campo, a passionate advocate for early childhood support and a People and Quality Leader at Nido.

In a recent conversation with Brittany, we discussed Nido’s involvement with the Telethon Kids Institute’s Inklings Program, designed to support babies aged 6-18 months who are showing early differences in their social interaction and communication development.

The Inklings Program is funded in Western Australia through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as part of a new partnership between the NDIS, Telethon Kids Institute, Child and Adolescent Health Service and WA Country Health Service, to support babies showing early differences in social and communication skills.

What sets it apart is its focus on early support. Typically, support programs like this start around ages 3-4, which can be too late for optimal results. With Inklings, we’re providing support much earlier, which is incredibly exciting for both the sector and familiessays Brittany.

“In Western Australia, it’s not uncommon to wait 1-2 years for an appointment with a paediatrician to access support,” Brittany notes. “Inklings offers a solution to this problem by providing timely support without the need for extensive referrals.”

Backed by decades of scientific research, Inklings uses short videos of a caregiver interacting with their baby to help them to better understand the different ways that their baby communicates. With the guidance of a trained practitioner, caregivers will learn strategies to build on their own strengths as a responsive communication partner for their baby.

With an initial intake of 700 children in WA, Nido Early School is eager to secure spots for children who would benefit from the program. “We’re committed to ensuring that children in our community have access to the support they need,” Brittany affirms.

For Brittany, this initiative holds personal significance. Her younger son experienced developmental differences during his early years. “Having firsthand experience with developmental differences, I understand the importance of early support,” she shares. “We need to start providing support as soon as possible, rather than waiting until further developmental challenges arise.”

Looking ahead, we are exploring ways to effectively integrate the Inklings program into our early schools. Professor Andrew Whitehouse, along with WA PQLs, will engage in discussions to identify the best strategies for launching Inklings to families who attend a Nido Early School.

Brittany also emphasises the importance of collaboration and advocacy in improving outcomes for children. “By working together and embracing innovative programs like Inklings, we can make a real difference in the lives of children and families across Western Australia,” she concludes.

Inklings represents a significant step forward in early childhood support, and Nido is proud to be involved in this initiative and in building a brighter future for the children of Western Australia.