A collaborative network is a professional group of people with an interest in improving transition experiences and outcomes for children and their families, educators across early years and schools within a community.
Collaborative networks provide a forum for stakeholders to meet and progress actions to support transitions.
Collaborative networking involves a range of partners in transition, including Prep teachers, school leaders, kindergarten teachers, other professionals and community organisations working collaboratively to support successful transitions to school.
Stakeholders in transition consider research, engage in professional conversations and decide on actions that include children and families as they transition into Prep.
Advice for collaborative networking
The QCAA consulted with proactive collaborative networking groups for advice on steps they took to set up their group and sustain membership and interest.
The following steps emerged from this consultation:
- Establish clear goals for the group.
- Establish roles and responsibilities.
- Develop clear protocols/mission statement/goals and success criteria — this helps drive decision-making for your network.
- Use democratic processes to collect information about what members would like to focus on in each meeting — usually planned across a year at defined intervals, negotiated by the group.
- Focus on data and information available in your community, e.g. Australian Early Development Census data, transition statements and areas for shared professional learning, including guest speakers.
- Build relationships across early years and school settings and with community professionals who have data and information to share.