Supporting to Build a Family's Dream

Nazhibir, who recently arrived in Australia from Iraq with his family, is a content, curious and friendly 4-year-old. His family wanted him to attend an Early Learning Centre while they studied English at TAFE but were concerned that his needs may not be met because of his disability. After meeting the Coffs Harbour AMEP Early Learning Centre Educator, Michelle Robinson, they decided to give it a try.

The AMEP Early Learning Centre team worked alongside a local paediatric physiotherapist and together they organised an active rehabilitation program that included sourcing a specialist walking frame and orthopedic boots to better enable his participation.

“We have seen him improve so much in the past few months since attending our Centre. He is really beginning to come out of his shell For the first time in his life he can stand upright, make eye contact and last week he even shook his head no when I asked him a question! This was amazing as he can now begin to communicate his needs” said Michelle.

Research into educational experiences suggests that children with disability face greater challenges and barriers than other children their age, which affect their educational outcomes and, in turn, their life outcomes.

Aiding Nazhibir’s participation has been life-changing for him and his family. For the first time his family as seen him walk alongside new friends at the Centre. His mother is overjoyed.

“Thank you for taking so much care of Nazhibir, I can go to English class and not worry.”

Eva Hamad, Nazhibir’s Mum

An education program developed by the AMEP Early Learning Centre team helps children in care with similar challenges to Nazhibir. Since its launch this year, the program has expanded across all AMEP Early Learning Centres. AMEP Early Learning Centre General Manager Clementine Buckett spends much of her time helping educators and staff understand how many children in care have been affected by their past trauma experiences, and how the education program and service can be delivered in a way that helps recovery and ease transition into Australian life.