Award nomination shines a light on innovative Early Years program

BCYF has been recognised in the category ‘Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing’, for pioneering the ‘Sunshine Circles®’ program in the Barwon South West region which is contributing to improved health and wellbeing outcomes for children aged up to six years.

Sunshine Circles focuses on parent/carer and child interactions using fun and engaging structured activities. The facilitator leads playful, cooperative and nurturing activities that encourage children’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

Commencing in 2017, BCYF has successfully implemented the Sunshine Circles group program in local participating kindergarten settings, working in partnership with educators to deliver this valuable program.  The program also includes the provision of in-home support to families to promote positive caregiver/child interactions that support social and emotional development as well as supporting a positive connection and outcomes within educational settings.

Evaluation of the program has shown a positive shift in overall outcomes for more than 80 per cent of all participants, with more than 60 per cent of children showing a decrease in challenging, uncooperative and distracted behaviours.

Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt announced 19 finalists across seven award categories. BCYF’s Early Years Education and Community was one of three finalists in the category ‘Promoting Children’s Health and Wellbeing’. 

Winners will be announced at an online awards ceremony on Wednesday 10 November 2021.

Read more about the finalists here: 2021 Victorian Early Years Awards Finalists 2021 Victorian Early Years Awards Finalists (

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