What is KidsMatter?
KidsMatter is a mental health and wellbeing initiative for primary schools and early childhood education and care services – like preschools, kindergartens and day care centres.
It’s not a program, but a framework that helps staff, parents and carers to work together to create settings that better support children’s social and emotional wellbeing needs.
KidsMatter has 4 focus areas:
- creating positive school and early childhood communities
- teaching children skills for good social and emotional development
- working together with families
- recognising and getting help for children with mental health problems.
KidsMatter comes with professional learning for staff, resources, and ongoing support throughout implementation.
KidsMatter Parent Action Team
The program was launched at St Mark’s Primary school in 2010 and involves the people and organisations who significantly influence our children’s lives – schools, teachers, parents, carers, health agencies and community groups.
The KidsMatter Parent Action Team (KMPAT) is primarily concerned with building positive community and aims to identify opportunities, source and/or develop resources that enable families to better engage with their child’s academic, social and emotional learning. As parent representatives and leaders, the group aims to implement strategies, to develop collaborative working relationships with parents and carers to promote children’s mental health and wellbeing. They also aim to connect families with staff and encourage them to work together to improve the learning outcomes of the children of St Mark’s.
KPAT was responsible for putting together the parent information pack handed out to families at the beginning of the year, generating term calendars, welcoming prospective students and families on Open Day, and submitting a piece for the newsletter each week. KPAT was also responsible for organising and coordinating the various conversation hours held throughout the school year and collating the follow-up supporting information packs. In 2014, KMPAT introduced the Prep “100 sleeps to school” afternoon tea & “Carols in the Hall” and in 2015, coordinated the Welcome BBQ and work with the staff to introduce learning discovery sessions.
To build on the successes of the KidsMatter Parent Action Team, in 2016 our KidsMatter @ St Mark's Team came into being. This team is a blending of the previous KidsMatter PAT and Parents and Friends' Association.
The KidsMatter @ St Mark's Team is comprised of staff, parents / carers and volunteers, and has taken on the dual role of developing opportunities for families to engage with their child's academic, social and emotional learning as well as looking at fundraising opportunities previously provided by the Parents and Friends' Association.