When we began our work in Mt Druitt, we knew that our mission to support all children to thrive was bold and ambitious.
The communities, services and eco-systems around Mt Druitt’s children are far from static; each day in our work we encounter changing environments that direct The Hive’s journey.
Along with continuous evaluation and measurement – community voice and aspiration is the guide by which we effectively evolve and adapt.
Before any initiatives were designed, The Hive began by engaging and listening to the Mt Druitt community.
Through building trust and strong relationships, our initial consultation revealed the typically siloed nature of the existing service system; community members felt ‘handed around’, and some were simply lost. And yet the need remained to build child-centered communities and achieve school readiness.
We committed to supporting local communities to adopt and implement the five conditions of collective impact: Community Aspirations, Strategic Learning, High Leverage Activities, Inclusive Community Engagement, Containers of Change.
With a firm vision for every child to start school well in 2770, The Hive started to work directly with key services and community leaders across three suburbs in Mt Druitt.
Our approach is underpinned by place-based, collective impact methodology which directs our ‘Together in Willmot’, ‘Together in Bidwill’ and ‘Together in Lethbridge Park’ initiatives.
These initiatives recognise the importance of community engagement in creating sustainable change.
Quality Early Childcare Education Services play a vital role in child-centered communities. They nurture connection and belonging, and provide the platform for identifying the need for early intervention.
Recognising this, The Hive placed a strategic focus on increasing enrolment and participation in ECEC programs, increasing quality training opportunities and networking for the sector and increasing the number of children undertaking developmental checkups before school.
Many children have been impacted and the conditions for change are in place. Independent reviews conducted in 2020 on both our community engagement initiatives, and ECDL work, offered learnings to guide the next phase and measure its impact.
An updated ‘North Star’ and Theory of Change has been established to navigate the next stage of The Hive’s journey.
The Hive and its collective team have now tied together more aspects of a child’s development to achieve better early childhood outcomes including; child health, ECEC, family support and community engagement centered around 0-8 years.
We now turn our focus to postcode related outcomes – ECDL, suburb ‘enablers of change’ outcomes; community building, and engagement and long-term sustainability outcomes – maintaining our work overtime and seeing system-level change.