For Schools & Principals

The community hubs model is a place-based and citizen centric approach to supporting migrant and refugee women, pre-school children and their families within their local communities. It is an evidence-based model, developed in Australia and independently assessed. A community hub will grow your school’s capacity to engage with its diverse local communities, developing relationships with women at the school gate and with the broader community.

Independent evaluations by Charles Sturt University (CSU) researchers in 2014 and 2015 found that our community hubs are:

  • successfully reaching and engaging migrants, particularly women
  • making a difference in young children’s development and engagement with early learning services and supporting smoother transitions into school
  • making a difference for families by improving English language and literacy, improving parenting capability, connecting them with schools, services and their local community; and instilling a sense of empowerment
  • improving the cultural competence of schools and increasing their capacity to respond to and connect with migrant communities
  • making community services more effective in their work with migrant families
  • stimulating increased connections and collaboration between services, and
  • increasing the availability and accessibility of services to migrant and refugee families.

In 2016 the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute undertook a qualitative study to assess the impact of hubs on school readiness, which they defined as having three major elements:

  • children’s readiness for school
  • schools’ readiness for children
  • the capacity of families and communities to provide the opportunities, conditions and supports needed to optimise school readiness, especially for vulnerable children.

The researchers found that children from backgrounds where English is not spoken at home are among the most developmentally vulnerable in the Australian community and interventions are therefore needed to ensure they arrive ready to capitalise on the rich learning environment provided at school. Such interventions should focus on all three components of school readiness simultaneously.

The study assessed the impact that four of our longest standing community hubs are having on the school readiness of their youngest participants. The research study found that the community hubs model is enhancing CALD children’s school readiness by providing a multidimensional response.

The researchers reported that:
‘…the community hubs are largely succeeding in their central task – of ensuring that children arrive at school ready and able to take advantage of the learning and social opportunities that schools provide. All hubs reported marked improvements in children’s skills and abilities upon school entry, including increases in early literacy and numeracy, as well as increased capacity to adhere to basic routines necessary for school.

These improvements made the transition to school far smoother for new students, their families and school staff, compared with the experience prior to hub implementation.’

Our hubs were also found to:

  • provide practical connections into early learning and increasing participation among CALD, migrant and refugee children in playgroups and kindergartens
  • help greatly in building positive relationships between staff (both early childhood and school staff) and parents
  • promote positive collaborative relationships between school and early childhood staff
  • help build the capacity of families and the quality of the home learning environment
  • contribute to a better integrated support system for children and families.

If you are interested in finding out more about the national community hubs program, please feel free to contact us.