A Smart Start

Great Southern children benefit from the A Smart Start early childhood initiative, a project supported by the GSDC. A Smart Start is a Great Southern initiative delivering community-based early learning intervention for children aged from birth to four years old.

The initiative provides families with the necessary foundation skills required for life-long learning, social interaction, plus physical and mental well-being. The initiative supports health and development milestones across all five developmental domains and aims to improve outcomes for children in the years before school.

In 2009, the YMCA of WA (then the YMCA of Perth) partnered with the A Smart Start Governance Committee to manage the program and help secure a sustainable funding source. Program delivery was supported by $814,425 of Royalties for Regions (mainly through the GSDC’s Regional Grants Scheme) and local government contributions. However, YMCA WA was unsuccessful in securing a major corporate or mainstream funding partner and advised it was not in a position to continue to deliver the program in the absence of external funding.

In 2016, the initiative transitioned from YMCA management to the A Smart Start Great Southern Regional Committee. With the support of funding secured through the GSDC, A Smart Start is now being delivered in a transition period under the management of the committee until at least June 2017, pending the establishment of long-term funding. Funding for the transition period is being managed by the Shire of Broomehill-Tambellup.

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