PSFO Parents Information
What is the Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) Program?
• The PSFO program supports the inclusion of children with additional needs in Victorian government funded kindergarten programs.
Qualifications of the PSFO?
• The PSFO has a degree or higher qualification in early childhood education, with a kindergarten teaching background and specialist experience in working with children with additional needs.
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.
Making a referral to the PSFO program:
• If you have concerns regarding your child’s development talk with your Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher about a referral to the PSFO program.
• Your child’s Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher may approach you to discuss a referral to the PSFO program.
• With your consent, it is the responsibility of your Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher to make a referral to the PSFO program.
• If you directly contact the PSFO program, the PSFO will liaise with your child’s Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher to progress the referral.
Download the 2016 PSFO Referral Form, Lentara UnitingCare Privacy Statement.
For further information visit the Department of Education website. Parental consent is mandatory for any PSFO referral and there is no cost to the Kindergarten program or families.