Fairstart Early Intervention wins prestigious award

Published on 17 July 2020

A child playing at the Fairstart Early Intervention centre

 Fairfield City Council’s Fairstart Early Intervention program has been recognised with a prestigious 2020 NSW Local Government Excellence Award.

 Fairstart took out the award in the Community Development and Services – population over 100,000 category. The award recognises leadership in community services, focusing on innovation in management and leadership, improvements to processes and demonstrated practicality and resourcefulness.

 Fairstart Early Intervention has a reputation in the community for being a leading not-for-profit provider of therapeutic support services for children aged 0-12 years with diagnosed disabilities and developmental delay.

 In 2016, Fairfield City Council identified a shortfall in these services locally due to such services being generally unaffordable to many families. Council addressed this shortfall by becoming an NDIS-registered provider, enabling Council to provide high quality, culturally responsive and affordable early childhood intervention and therapy services to the local community.

 That year, Council redeveloped a building which was formerly utilised as a child care centre into an early intervention centre with a sensory gym, and employed speech pathologists, occupational therapists, early childhood teachers and bi-cultural support workers. The new centre opened in February 2017.

 Fairfield City Mayor Frank Carbone said he is incredibly proud of the service that Fairstart Early Intervention provides to the community.

 “All children deserve the best start in life. There are many families in our community that because of a variety of reasons find themselves unable to access affordable services that cater to their needs or simply cannot access a service due to long waiting lists,” Mayor Carbone said.

 “Council understands that access to specialised education and disability services can be very expensive and the waiting lists can mean time is lost in those crucial early years of a child’s development.

 “Council identified an opportunity to make a real difference for these families and has so far helped dozens of local children and their families access the services and support they need and deserve.

 “I congratulate the Fairstart Early Intervention team on their innovative and overwhelmingly successful approach to the delivery of early childhood intervention and therapy services to the local community.”

 As winner, Fairstart Early Intervention is now also a finalist in the national awards, which will be held later this year.

 To learn more about the services provided by Fairstart Early Intervention or to apply, call 9725 0114 or visit www.fairfieldcity.nsw.gov.au/fairstart.