BCYF & Bethany have merged! Our two like-minded not-for-profit organisations are now Meli. Learn more

Access to Early Learning

Bethany Community Support delivers Access to Early Learning, a family centred program that identifies three-year-old children from families with complex needs and supports their participation in quality kindergarten:

  • Support sustained full participation in 15 hours of quality universal 3 year old kindergarten
  • Support parents to strengthen the home learning environment
  • Support parents to address any barriers to their child’s full participation in 3 year old kindergarten
  • Enhance collaboration between families, kindergarten services, educators and other support services
  • Enhance kindergarten services capacity to meet the needs of families with complex needs

Who it is for

Geelong Region
Parents and Children
Referral required

How to access this service

Families must be referred by Maternal Child Health, Orange Door, Family Services or a Child Protection professional and must have a minimum of two of the following characteristics:

  • Known to Child Protection
  • Child or parent with an intellectual or physical disability
  • Family violence
  • Mental health issues
  • Sexual assault
  • Alcohol and drug abuse

For further information please contact aelgeelong@bethany.org.au

Frequently asked questions

How old does my child need to be?

A child in the family must be three years old by 30th April in the year they are enrolled to attend a 3 year old kindergarten program.

Why is kindergarten important?
  • Kindergarten helps prepare children for school and in life skills
  • At kindergarten children use play to learn about language, numbers and patterns. They also learn how to get along with others, share, listen and manage their emotions
  • Kindergarten teachers help children become curious, creative and confident about learning
  • Research shows that two years of kindergarten are better than one.
What will the AEL facilitator do?
  • Visit you at home to help support learning through play
  • Support you to understand your child’s learning and development, and increase your confidence and ability to respond to your child’s needs
  • Work together to set some learning and development goals for your child
  • Assist you to support your child’s 3 year old kindergarten and to support transition to a 4 year old kindergarten program
  • Provide referrals or link you with other support services you or your child need.
Where we offer this service

Geelong region.

Further resources

Barwon Orange Door 

The Orange Door is a free service for adults, children and young people who are experiencing or have experienced family violence and families who need extra support with the care of children.

Visit orangedoor.vic.gov.au for more information.

  • For families requiring support, please contact an Orange Door Intake Practitioner on 1800 312 820.
  • If you are a professional and wish to make a referral to The Orange Door, please complete the referral form (PDF version) (Word version) and email to barwon@orangedoor.vic.gov.au
  • The Orange Door is located at 83 Moorabool Street, Geelong

Bethany is part of the Barwon Child FIRST partnership, which operates from The Orange Door in Geelong.

Your situation is unique, but you don’t need to struggle alone. We are here to help.