Pre-School Field Officers
The Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) Program provides support to government funded kindergarten program staff to support the access and participation of children with additional needs in inclusive kindergarten programs through the provision of consultative support, resourcing and advice to kindergarten teachers. The PSFO program is a locally responsive approach to providing kindergarten services with practical advice and support on including children with additional needs into a quality kindergarten program.
Lentara Uniting Care manages the PSFO program on behalf of the Department of Education and Training within the Local Government Areas of the City of Melbourne, City of Maribrynong, City of Whittlesea, City of Banyule and the Nillumbik Shire Council.
Who is eligible for the PSFO service?
• Children with additional needs presenting with developmental concerns who are attending, or about to attend, a funded kindergarten program.
Developmental concerns may be associated with any area of a children’s development. This may include:
- challenging behaviours
- social and/or emotional difficulties
- speech, language and/or communication difficulties
- delayed development
- diagnosed disabilities.
• Children who are receiving support through Community Health Services.
• Children who are receiving DET Early Start Kindergarten funding. This includes children of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background, or children known to Child Protection who are attending 3 Year Old Kindergarten programs
• Children who are waiting to receive support through Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS) or the National Disability Insurance Scheme Early Childhood Intervention Approach can receive support from the PSFO.
Please note that children who have commenced receiving support through Early Childhood Intervention Services (ECIS), or the National Disability Insurance Scheme Early Childhood Intervention Approach, are not eligible for PSFO support. In these cases it is expected that the kindergarten educator will seek inclusion support from this provider, not the PSFO.
How the PSFO can help:
• Observe children with developmental concerns at kindergarten and contribute to the educator’s assessment of a child’s capabilities as well as his/her learning and development needs.
• Provide information and resources, programming and planning support to educators and families, as well as support with implementing strategies.
• Provide educators and families with information about specialist assessment and support services and assist in accessing these services.
• Provide support and professional services to Victorian government funded kindergartens to build their capacity to provide for the access and participation of children with additional needs in inclusive kindergarten programs.