The Puuya Foundation operates a range of life changing projects, reflecting their holistic approach to empowering the local community. The major project for the next 3 years will be the Early Years Learning and Parenting Program (EYLPP).
As part of the authentic engagement and strategic planning with the community it was identified that the early years family and learning support services available for the community ‘was a mess’.
This was particularly concerning because research has shown beyond a doubt that this is the most critical time in a child’s development for shaping their life and their life chances for the future.
The community asked the Puuya Foundation to work with them to develop a solution. And with this the dream of the Kuunchi Kakana (families together) Centre was born.
In keeping with all the work and projects undertaken by the Puuya Foundation, the Kuunchi Kakana Centre is different:
- The Centre is community-led and community-run.
- The decision to become involved and prioritise this project was at the behest of the community, based on their identification of early years as a strategic priority.
- The aspirational vision for the Centre reflects the holistic and integrated approach of the Puuya Foundation, which recognises that a comprehensive early childhood service must encompass seamless education, health and family support services to the extent that funding allows.
- The community was involved in determining which early years learning model they wanted to adopt (Montessori) based on the needs of the community, and will have input in ongoing curriculum development.
- The Centre is not a drop-and-go childcare centre, but rather a family centre where parents, grandparents or family members attend alongside their children, learning together and developing new skills to help them into the future.
- Local members of the community who demonstrated a passion for and commitment to the early years program and capacity building within the community were provided training in the Montessori model and a number were engaged as early years workers.
- Local members of the community are receiving vocational training and employment opportunities to help with the construction of the new building that will become the permanent, purpose built home for the Centre.
Between 2014 and 2017 the Puuya Foundation is working to:
- Secure the necessary funding in order to construct, open and operate the ‘Kuunchi Kakana’ (families together) centre, as the venue for many of the community-led EYLPP activities.
- Establish a clear and professional business model, which meets all legal and governance requirements, and reflects the Puuya Foundation’s commitment to balancing ancient traditions with modern western operating practices.
- Develop a robust curriculum for EYLPP programs that:
- draws from evidence-based best practices while encouraging innovation and community-driven creativity
- seeks to find the balance between ancient traditions and modern western practices
- champions innovative solutions to early years challenges in remote, non-English speaking background communities.
- Develop a system for measuring and monitoring program performance
- Launch the first wave of EYLPP programs.