A kindergarten delivering its program in Auslan, a supported playgroup at a shopping centre and a wellbeing coach program for Koori kids are among the finalists for the 11th annual Victorian Early Years Awards.
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announced 15 finalists across five different categories, including the Early Childhood Teacher of the Year.
The awards recognise excellence in the early childhood sector, celebrating work that has had a lasting positive effect on children and families.
Finalists from across Victoria have been selected for outstanding achievements in helping our children grow up happy and healthy, improving the lives of families and making a significant difference to their communities.
Categories for the awards also include promoting children’s health and wellbeing, supporting parents to build their capacity and confidence, creating collaborative community partnerships and improving access and participation in early learning.
Winners will share in more than $80,000 in prize money.
Clare Day, 2015 Early Childhood Teacher of the Year, used her prize money to further develop her skills and knowledge to support local families going through difficult times, including newly-arrived refugee families.
The winners of each category, plus a special Minister’s commendation, will be announced at a ceremony on 18 October 2016 – ahead of Children’s Week.