Everymind is seeking family day care educators across Australia to trial a new eight-week online education program, Minds Together, which aims to enhance capacity and confidence around promoting children’s mental health and wellbeing.
Developed specifically for Australian family day care educators, the program will help develop the knowledge, skills and practices needed to support wellbeing in children, and the flexible online format allows educators to complete the modules when it is convenient for them.
Everymind Acting Program Manager, Mental Health and Research, Dr Sally Fitzpatrick, said Minds Together is the first of its kind for family day care educators.
“Children who are supported in their mental health and wellbeing in early childhood are more likely to experience positive physical and mental health as an adult, and family day care educators are uniquely placed to provide this support for children in their care,” said Dr Fitzpatrick.
“The program aims to deliver professional development approaches that build educator confidence, while also encouraging educators to reflect on and look after their own mental health and wellbeing.”
Minds Together was developed as part of The Prevention Hub, Australia’s first integrated research initiative into preventing anxiety and depression.
Approximately 150 Australian family day care educators are needed to participate in the national trial.
The program's six modules explore areas of early childhood education practice that are critical to achieving positive mental health outcomes for children, which were identified through research and expert opinion.
Each module includes information, practical tips, case studies and reflective questions, and each takes up to an hour to complete.
Minds Together was created with family day care educators, who were involved through a survey and focus groups to identify their needs and interests around children’s mental health and wellbeing. Initial program testing was also done by educators, with the current online modules reflecting their input.
The program includes videos and podcasts with currently practicing family day care educators who share their own experiences and learnings from their work with children, as well as family day care coordinators and mental health experts.
“It is always helpful to hear from others who are in the same profession and who share experiences similar to our own,” said Dr Fitzpatrick.
“We wanted the Minds Together program to be authentic and reflect the real experiences of family day care educators.”
Participants in the Minds Together trial must be aged 18 years or older, currently practicing as a family day care educator in Australia, and comfortable reading and writing in English. Participants must also commit to completing all six program modules and up to three 10-minute online surveys.
To register your interest, please complete the expression of interest form on the Everymind website by Friday 20 March.
If you have questions about the trial or would like more information, please contact the project team by email at [email protected] or call 02 4924 6900 and ask for Bronte or Zoi.
About the Prevention Hub
Co-led by the Black Dog Institute and Everymind, and supported by funding from the Australian Government Department of Health, the Prevention Hub is Australia’s first integrated research translation initiative for preventing anxiety and depression.
The Prevention Hub focuses on implementing and evaluating preventive strategies for anxiety and depression in workplace, school and healthcare settings to achieve the greatest possible impact and reach.