Bushfire Response

A guide for early childhood education settings

Bushfire response: Restoring a sense of safety and security

Early childhood education strategies and practices to support children and communities who have experienced bushfire

Throughout Australia communities are currently recovering from devastating effects of bushfires. These events can be terrifying and can have both immediate and long-term impacts. Regional communities are disproportionately affected, and in some cases whole communities are affected.

As children and families return to early childhood services, it is important to think about the ways in which we can support them best, and help to restore a feeling of safety and security so that children can learn and prosper alongside educators in their community.

To support educators in working towards recovery we have gathered existing resources to provide information to support your understanding of the impacts of natural disasters on children’s behaviour and development, and to assist you to respond in ways that are evidence informed and effective.

Introduction from Coolah

Coolah Preschool Kindergarten. Sir Ivan Bushfire, 2017

Mark Donovan
Clinic Director, Northfields Clinic
School of Psychology, UOW

Associate Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett
Director of Pedagogical Studies, Early Start
School of Education, UOW

Kim Stouse-Lee
Early Childhood Teacher & Community Engagement Coordinator
Early Start, UOW

Kirsty Arnott
Director, Coolah Preschool Kindergarten

Fiona Morse
President, Management Committee, and Parent

Jo Morton
Educator, Coolah Preschool Kindergarten

Craig Mashman
Leading Station Officer, FRNSW Station Commander 
Batemans Bay
Yuin Nation, Walbunga Clan

Be You, Beyond Blue
A free mental health initiative for educators which aims to promote and protect positive mental health in children. You may be familiar with KidsMatter as the predecessor of Be You has developed a new responsive bushfire resource pack for educators, families and communities. Bushfires-response aims to help manage the mental health impact of the Australian Bush fires. 

Emerging Minds
A dedicated to advancing the mental health and emotional well being of Australian infants, children, adolescents and their families. EM partner with family members, national and international organisations to implement evidence-based practice into the Australian context with resources freely available at this web hub. 

CCSA: Community Connections Solutions Australia
Support for early childhood education and care services: Governance, management, compliance & workplace relations

CELA: Community Early Learning Australia
Peak ECEC body: Advocacy, leadership, resources, consultancy & service management

ECA: Early Childhood Australia
Peak ECEC body: Advocacy, resources, professional development, publications, Be You, State & Territory branches

Family Day care Association: Promotes and supports all aspects of FDC in the community 

Services NSW
Bushfire customer care service for bushfire affected communities including people and businesses

NSW Department of Education