Regional Development VictoriaRegional Development Victoria

State Government of Victoria

Communities sought to design and trial more effective early years provision

9 November 2017

Communities across the Wimmera Southern Mallee region are being given a unique opportunity to design and trial more effective ways to deliver Early Years services which better meet local needs.

The Wimmera Southern Mallee (WSM) Early Years Steering Committee – a group chaired by the WSM Regional Partnership and including the Victorian Government, local councils and early years providers – is on the hunt for six trial sites across the region where local communities will work collaboratively to co-design an Early Years model which works best for them, incorporating childcare, kinders, schools, maternal and child health services, and other service providers.

“Early Years models that work in metropolitan areas often don’t work in rural and regional areas,” explains Emma Vogel, Deputy Chair of the WSM Regional Partnership which is championing the Early Years trial in the region. “The availability of local child care services across the Wimmera Southern Mallee is a good example. Due to funding and regulation requirements, and our small, dispersed populations, services are limited and families are disadvantaged.”

“These trials are something the WSM Partnership has been calling for and we are thrilled they are going ahead. They will put children and their families, and the services they need, at the centre of design and delivery, in partnership with the state government.”

The WSM Early Years Steering Committee is now seeking expressions of interest from communities across the region who would like to be part of the trial. Those able to apply include early years providers, kinders, schools, and local councils.

“The Expression of Interest process is an opportunity for your community to outline the issues you are facing in relation to Early Years services and your desire to see change. You do not have to have the solutions mapped out, but you may already have some ideas,” says Ms Vogel.

Each community chosen to be part of the trial will form a working group with a Department of Education and Training (DET) co-ordinator to identify issues and design a framework to be then be trialled.

Models will be tested over three years to identify benefits, challenges and improvements to inform future service delivery in regional Victoria.

To request an Expression of Interest form, or for further details, email

EOIs are due by 5pm, Friday 24 November.


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Last Updated: 13 February 2018