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PSFO Professional 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:
•      It is the responsibility of the Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher to make all referrals to the PSFO program. 
•      If a parent or other professional directly contacts the PSFO program requesting referral, the PSFO will liaise with the Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher to progress the referral. 

Please note: other professionals are encouraged to discuss concerns they may have regarding a child’s development with the child’s parents and the child’s Early Childhood Kindergarten Teacher. Discussion about a referral to the PSFO program may be appropriate.

Please phone the PSFO in your Local Government Area if you have any queries.

City of Melbourne – E: Karalynn.Mcdonnell@lentarauc.org.au - P: 0417 318 569
City of Maribrynong – E: Karalynn.Mcdonnell@lentarauc.org.au - P: 0417 318 569
City of Whittlesea – E: kmack@lentarauc.org.au - P: 0417 311 688 
City of Banyule –  E: meglezos@lentarauc.org.au - P: 0417 312 348 
Nillumbik Shire Council – E: jscammell@lentarauc.org.au - P: 0417 315 687

Download the 2016 PSFO Refferal Form, Lentara UnitingCare Privacy Statement. Completed referral forms can be emailed to the PSFO in your Local government area. Parental consent is mandatory for any PSFO referral and there is no cost to the Kindergarten program or families.

For further information visit the Department of Education website