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Early Childhood Improvement Branches

Early Childhood Improvement Branches (ECIBs) operate in all 17 Department of Education areas across the state. They have specialist staff who work with early childhood professionals, services, and providers to support with the provision of resources and tailored advice to enable children’s access to funded kindergarten programs across ECIB’s can support priority cohorts, including children living in Out-of-Home-Care (OoHC), children at risk of abuse or neglect, First Nations children, children seeking asylum or those with refugee status. Children of multiple births (triplets or more) and some concession holders are also prioritised for kindergarten access.

Who can ECIBs support?

ECIBs primarily support early childhood services who deliver funded kindergarten programs. However, in certain situations they may be able to provide assistance directly to families and or professionals, where extra information, advocacy, or support is needed to help priority children and families access and participate in kindergarten.

What support is available?

Generally, enrolment support will be best provided by the kindergarten service directly, or through the local Government’s Central Registration and Enrolment Scheme (CRES), if available. In situations where more support is needed ECIBs may be able to assist. Some examples of assistance available are provided below.

Enrolment Support

  • Where a child has been enrolled in a kinder program and should be given priority access under the Priority of Access Policy but there is no availability at the service, ECIBs can assist to find an alternative option to ensure the child has accessto a kindergarten place.
  • ECIBs receive up to date information about where Pre-Purchased Places are in their area – which can be helpful for children and families who need to enrol outside of typical enrolment timelines.

Eligibility advice

  • ECIBs may be able to support where there are queries about eligibility into Department of Education programs and services. For example, where a child may be eligible for Early Start Kindergarten (ESK) with an exemption. An example of circumstances that may warrant an exemption may include, if a service thinks a child may be eligible to ESK under the refugee or asylum seeker criteria, but  is unable to ascertain what visa type the family hold, or are unsure if the Visa they hold is eligible, they can contact their local ECIB for advice.
  • ECIBs may be able to support with advice regarding Department of Education programs and supports for children and families such as the Access to Early Learning (AEL) program, the Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) Outreach initiative, and Flexible Support Packages. ECIBs will be aware of the current providers and levels of availability specific to their region.

How to contact

More information about ECIBs and contact details for each area can be found here.

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