all people can learn together
With the right support, all people can learn together.
To achieve access, opportunity and acceptance for all people with a disability.
Respect | Integrity
Social Justice | Empathy
All children have a right to a full life and an education that meets their needs, no matter what disabilities or learning challenges they face.
Research shows that inclusion can have positive outcomes for all children, with or without disabilities, when adequate supports are in place.
STaR works with parents, their support networks and educators to provide childcare and preschool experiences that are welcoming and educational.
Meet our STaR Families
In 2017, 88% of STaR parents were satisfied with the quality of the services they and their child had received from STaR.
“My daughter’s development has improved a lot. And the most important thing, she is so happy and confident to be with other kids with the help of STaR.”
STaR parents valued being able to spend more time in the workforce while their children received the right support in childcare.
“It’s fantastic that STaR staff always make themselves available to not just the child but also the family. This way, the whole family benefit from the program.”
Since 2002 STaR has supported 404 children to be included in 27 childcare centres.
Staff in childcare centres supported by STaR: 100% felt that STaR’s support had been very valuable for their work with children with disabilities
“We would not be able to continue to provide such a high-quality inclusive environment without the support of STaR.”
Director of STaR-affiliated childcare centre
Three Pillars of STaR
Finding out your child has a disability or additional needs can be daunting. STaR offers practical help through:
- A possible place in a STaR-affiliated childcare centre
- Family support to STaR families
- Gifted Services regarding children whose development is advanced.
Build on your own skills as an educator with our NESA registered professional development courses. Learn how to:
- Help children with disabilities to belong
- Create a positive behaviour plan
- Develop social skills for children with additional needs
- Respond to gifted children’s social, emotional and intellectual needs
- Plan the transition to school for a child with additional needs.
STaR is committed to evidence-based strategies for the education and wellbeing of children with additional needs. Our own recent studies include:
- The effects of training on educators’ confidence and attitudes about including children with additional needs
- The effect of picture books and iPad apps on children’s engagement
- The effect of coaching children to help STaR children to take turns.
What people are saying
“When we first started working with STaR, my staff couldn’t understand the value in helping people and thought that these families would be better off somewhere else.
It has taken a long time for me to show them what is possible. The only way I could do this is with the help of STaR. They have taught me how to empower my staff. To give them skills and confidence through training and seeing results with every child. Now we apply these skills in all our teaching strategies to identify and scaffold learning with all our children. They all need our guidance in some way.”
“Having the support of the STaR team and their resources/experience and knowledge to work with our educators is beyond valuable they take the time to work with any of our educators needing support to help and guide their growth and development making them better educators.”
“Our service has a high number of children with varying additional needs and the ongoing support that we receive from STaR ensures that we can meet the needs of each individual child, program for their needs and be as inclusive as possible in our practice.”
“STaR continued to help and support not only my child but my entire family many times throughout 2020. Employees of STaR went above and beyond anything I ever expected, we would not be where we are now without STaR and I will be forever grateful to have met these ladies”.
“I remember crying all the way home after my first meeting with STaR. I felt like my helplessness and frustration was lifted, and a force of many was going to guide James and show us how to best help our beautiful boy.”
A message from STaR’s CEO, Margaret Meaker
Become a Supporter
Your donation can fund STaR to enrol, teach and include children with disabilities.
- Provide professional workshops on how to include children with disabilities and other additional needs to early childhood educators in childcare, preschools, family day care.
- Support children with varied and complex support needs in their educational settings (approximately 50 per year).
- Train the staff in childcare centres so that they are able to maximise the participation of these children.
- Support staff in the early years of school and out-of-school-hours care.
- Make life easier for families living with disability.