Irene Solino, Managing Director of BLUELAB Learning Space in Perth, discusses how they implemented Be You at their Family Day Care.
BLUELAB Learning Spaces started Be You to support the wellbeing and mental health of children in our service. We also created our Learning Happiness project to introduce children to a range of positive topics such as wellbeing, resilience, growth mindsets, self-regulation, kindness and gratitude.
As educators we need to support children’s feelings and relationships as well as their physical health and wellbeing. If children are experiencing difficulties in these areas it affects every aspect of their mental health and wellbeing. We started looking for Professional Learning and expertise to support our educators in this area.
We chose Be You, not just as a Professional Learning framework for our educators, but as a place where our educators have access to high quality, free and interesting modules and Resources, Tools and Guides and Fact Sheets. We decided to involve the whole learning community including leaders, educators, children, families and the wider local community.
With the all the information offered, it was easy to feel lost, but with an enthusiastic Action Team and the guidance and mentoring provided by the Be You Consultants, we were able to advance, step-by step, in our implementation, by:
- Sharing our Statement of Commitment
- Registering all our educators
- Connecting with a Be You Consultant
- Changing some policies and procedures
- Starting to use our dashboard and resources.
After that, we decided to begin learning with the Mentally Healthy Communities domain. We worked through five stages for each module and shared our progress on our communication channels. This was as follows:
- Asked all educators to complete the first module to provide us with common knowledge and language
- Identified our learning community needs, gathering data with surveys and meetings and sharing information in our eNewsletter
- Developed a plan based on this information
- Took actions, based on the plan
- Made changes to our Quality Improvement Plan as we monitored, reviewed and improved.
Now, we are moving to the second and third modules, and our experience with the first one made us change some of our strategies:
- We are printing a new series of information to reach the significant percentage of families that are not used to digital communications
- With not all educators committed to participating, we have included the Professional Learning as a part of the compulsory induction and refresher training for all educators
- We are currently planning information events for our whole learning community
- These information events, supported by our educators, will keep everyone in our learning community informed about what we are doing
- We have created a professional library for our educators with related books and resources.
At BLUELAB we know Be You will be ongoing and are excited about the idea of making a clear and strong commitment to the mental health of our entire learning community.