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Supporting the Wellbeing of Young Children in Education Contexts – Community Conversation

This Communty Conversation will target the mental health and wellbeing of young Western Australian children by developing a new school-based approach that will help to reduce and prevent the disadvantage caused by poor mental health trajectories. The key objective will be to identify young Western Australian children’s most common mental health and wellbeing strengths and vulnerabilities.

The consultation will inform a new approach to monitoring wellbeing in children aged 3-8 years that is being developed which will assist children to transition into and through the early years of primary school. Some of the areas that will be explored include relationships, life satisfaction, feeling worried, self-concept, resilience and positive feelings within education contexts.

We would like to hear from teachers/educators, educational psychologists, families and children from a range of backgrounds to:

  1. Help identify the challenges, issues, situations or scenarios that impact young children’s mental health and wellbeing in school contexts
  2. Determine whether these challenges, issues, situations and scenarios differ according to socio-economic status, sex and rural or metropolitan location
  3. Determine what information teachers/educators need to better inform their social emotional programs to better support their students’ positive wellbeing and develop their external and internal strengths.
  4. Help identify what young children need to develop strengths in mental health and wellbeing from an early age in school contexts

The new approach will need to be accessible to all young children, including those who are pre-literate, First Nations children, children who experience disability or neurodiversity, from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children who may have experienced trauma or adversity.

The team will conduct focus group and/or interviews with teachers and school psychologists, families and stakeholders with expertise in young children’s wellbeing to identify areas of vulnerability in children aged 3-8 years. We will seek to achieve diverse representation by gender, age group, experience in early years education/parenting young children, background, and location. Participation will be voluntary, collected data will be anonymous and participants’ confidentiality will be ensured. Consultation is also planned to occur via interviews with young children by engaging children and their parent/carer as a participant ‘dyad’ (where both child and adult are interviewed together).

Experience required of consumers:

Teachers – All those with an early childhood or primary school Education qualification, including early learning educators and teaching assistants.

School Psychologists – All those who have experience working with children aged 3 to 8 years in the area of mental health and/or wellbeing, preferably with a related qualification.

Parents – All those are, or have, parented children between the ages of 3 and 8 years.

Children aged 3 to 8 years who might like to be interviewed together with their parent(s) on the topic of how their wellbeing is supported, or not, in education settings (e.g., what makes them happy or sad?).

Parent Session:

Tuesday, 28th November 2023

10am to 12:00pm

Teacher and School Psychologist Session:

Tuesday, 5th December 2023

3:30pm to 5:30pm

A $70 honorarium will be offered to those who attend.

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