Preschool Field Officer Program
What is the Preschool Field Officer Program?
The Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program at Melton works closely with Early Childhood Educators in kindergarten settings to support the delivery of quality programs to ensure the positive participation of all children, particularly those with additional and diverse needs.
PSFO’s provide support depending on individual needs. Support provided includes:
- identification of any adaptations that can be made to the program
- referral pathways to assist Educators and link families into services available for children with developmental concerns and broader child and family supports.
How can the PSFO Help?
The PSFO works closely with the early childhood educator to enhance their capacity and confidence to provide an inclusive program that is considerate to the needs of all children.
Support for educators may include:
- providing information and resources to inform inclusive programs
- supporting educators to assess a child’s learning and development needs
- supporting educators’ confidence and capacity to respond to a parent’s concerns regarding their child’s development
- providing planning support that respects, acknowledges and complements the educator’s expertise in supporting children’s learning and development
- coaching to help with planning and implementation of inclusive kindergarten programs
- building professional partnerships and collaborative relationships with kindergarten educators
- modelling of specific skills, suggestions and strategies with educators
- assistance to embed child specific teaching and learning approaches and opportunities into the everyday kindergarten environment
- identifying referral pathways and linking families to child and family supports, including more specialised assessment and services where necessary.
Who can use the Preschool Field Officer Program?
Children with additional needs who are attending a government funded Kindergarten program. This also includes children who are in receipt of Early Start Kindergarten funding. Early Start Kindergarten provides a child with access to a 10 hour per week kindergarten program for two years.
Referrals are accepted from Term 1 (for all 3 and 4 year old children with additional needs, concern about possible developmental delays or have been exposed to trauma. This includes children with Early Start Kindergarten attending a 3 year old kindergarten program or childcare centre.
To be eligible for early start or 3 year old programs, children must turn 3 years of age before 30 April of the current year.
Please Note: Children who are already supported by an early childhood early intervention service such as NDIS are not eligible for the PSFO service. In these cases, the educator should seek inclusion support directly from the early intervention service provider.
What are additional needs?
Children presenting with concerns associated with any area of their development, including:
- Challenging behaviours
- Speech, language or communication delays
- Social and emotional difficulties
- A diagnosed disability
- Family issues that may impact the child
- Children who have or are experiencing the effects of trauma.
Making a referral to PSFO
Educators must complete a referral form with parental/guardian consent when requesting PSFO support.
Referral to Preschool Field Officer(DOCX, 207KB)
- Parents/Guardians who are wishing to make a referral for their child are first encouraged to discuss their concerns with their child’s Early Childhood educator so it can be completed in collaboration with them.
- Other health care professionals with parental/guardian consent can also request support. The PSFO will contact the early childhood educator in these cases to discuss and determine what assistance is required.
Please note: It is encouraged Educators complete the Early ABLES assessment for those children they are referring to the PSFO program. This will give a comprehensive picture of the child’s strengths and abilities as well as provide an individual learning report and support planning for the child. It also offers the ability to monitor the child’s progress and facilitate ongoing discussions with families.
How much does it cost?
The PSFO program is funded by the Department of Education (DET) which allows the service to be delivered with no additional cost to families or services.
Observations and interactions with children are discreet and respect the child and families' privacy. All case notes and information is gathered and stored according to the principles contained within the Privacy Act and Melton City Council regarding confidentiality & disclosure guidelines.
Parents or guardians and teachers can contact the Preschool Field Officer on 9747 7200 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org