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The issue

One in five children are starting school vulnerable in at least one of the five developmental domains; physical health and wellbeing, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive skills, communication skills and general knowledge.

Research has shown that social and emotional wellbeing is a critical enabler for children to develop numeracy and literary skills – however there is a gap in the capacity of early years’ professionals to support children to build their social and emotional wellbeing.

Wings to Fly’s approach

Wings works with Queensland communities of low-socioeconomic status, and with children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, delivering training programs to early years’ professionals that builds their understanding, capacity, and strategies to support children’s resilience and wellbeing.

Informed by neuroscience, it teaches early years educators to recognise certain behaviours and adopt activities which help stimulate specific neurological pathways needed for learning.

What's innovative about it

Targets neurological development 

The Wings to Fly training program equips educators with enhanced observational techniques and tailored classroom activities designed to specifically stimulate the brain functionality children need for learning.

Drives deeper understanding of at-risk children 

Combining developments in neurological science and education systems enables early years educators to nurture specific areas of neurological development, establishing better learning outcomes for children.

Prevents anxiety and depression 

The proven strengths-based approach aims to prevent anxiety and depression by building resilience and skills in at-risk children aged 0-5 years so they can transition effectively into primary school.

Meet Kellie

Occasional Childcare Director Kellie Dykes says Wings to Fly training provides practical strategies and experiences that can be immediately incorporated and embedded into childcare programs.

“It incorporated theories and studies into the impact of trauma and attachment on the developing brain, demonstrated a change of practices in the language we use in our interactions, and promoted a shift to greater awareness.

It gave us the skills and strategies to support children to become comfortable with the emotions they are feeling and to gain self-confidence, listen to others, show empathy, and build positive relationships.”

Meet Kellie

Positive impact so far


early years professionals supported


early years centres across South East Queensland received training


of participants reported that they now have a high or very high understanding of how to better foster wellbeing in children

Wings to Fly and SVA

SVA is supporting Wings to Fly to grow the reach of its program by supporting development and implementation of different modes of training delivery, while growing its income base.

Our priorities in 2020

In 2020 SVA will be working with Wings to Fly to:

  • Fund trainers’ salaries and operational costs.
  • Assist management and Board to implement refreshed strategy, and strengthen organisation skills and capabilities to leverage its existing footprint.
  • Support strengthening of its evaluation frameworks to demonstrate the organisation’s impact aligned with its Theory of Change.
  • Strengthen and expand relationships with educators and childhood learning ecosystem.

Working together

“SVA brings so much more to the table (than just money). It allows for a greater reach into the community, it allows for more in-depth discussion, it allows us the freedom to develop and work closely with organisations, and to help organisations and communities who would not otherwise be able to afford to participate in the training”.

Anne Turnbull, Executive Officer

Sustainable Development Goals

3 - Good Health and Well-Being
4 - Quality Educations
10 - Reduced Inequalities

Proud funding partners

  • Crawford Foundation
  • The Bryan Foundation

To learn more contact