- Priority area: Wellbeing (social and emotional)
- Primary audience: Educators
- Delivery mode: Group training, online
- Strength of evidence: Level 4 – Emerging research evidence
- AEDC sub-domains:
- Emotional maturity – anxious and fearful behaviour
- Emotional maturity – aggressive behaviour
- Social competence – responsibility and respect
- Item cost: Variable
The Fun Friends program provides educators with knowledge, strategies and resources to foster the development of children’s positive social and emotional wellbeing and to prevent childhood anxiety and depression. The program was developed in Australia for children from two to seven years of age. The program’s framework is based on the cognitive behaviour therapy model and addresses participant’s attachment (emotions), physiology (body), cognition (mind), and learning (behaviour processes).
The program is a train-the-trainer model for educators who wish to facilitate the Fun Friends program in their setting. The program consists of 6–12 hours of online training (or face-to-face if requested).
License cost for the program: $1,000 (excluding GST) per year. This price includes:
- online training across all kindergarten staff
- access to eBook manuals for each trainer and facilitator (eBooks are accessible on any digital device and contain many suggestions for experiential activities and games)
- access to fun eBook activity books for each participant (children can draw, paint and personalise their eBooks)
- access by all staff and families to the Family Resilience Package, which includes a 2 hour video aimed at equipping adults and teenagers with resilience building skills and eBooks per relevant age group: start building resilience for adults and teenagers/children/young children.
Under the license, kindergarten services will have the option to purchase the following additional book formats.
- Printed essential activity book (full colour): $15 each (including GST). The essential activity books are half the size of the full eBook activity book and are best used in conjunction with the eBook activity book.
- Downloadable manual (can be accessed without internet): $12 each (including GST)
- Printed manual (400+ pages in full colour): $80 each (including GST).
The provider can offer the following discounts for bulk printed book orders:
- 100–499 books: 5% discount
- 500–999 books: 10% discount
- 1000+ books: 15% discount.
The above book prices do not include shipping.
Target population: educators.
Program/practice descriptions and details: it is recommended that the Fun Friends program is delivered weekly (approximately one hour per week) during 10 consecutive weeks, although there is a range of flexible alternatives on how these can be facilitated. The provider also recommends two booster sessions and two parenting sessions to increase the likelihood of children transferring the learnt strategies to different settings.
The Family Resilience package offered under the license as an addition to the Fun Friends program was developed to provide families with skills and tools to help them to better cope with adversity. This package can be provided to families, educators, support staff and any other interested parties, to ensure entire communities have access to resilience skills. This package can be used immediately without prior training to provide support.
Staffing: services should consider the cost of backfill when determining the cost of accessing this resource.
Factors to consider: time commitment for the delivery of the Fun Friends program to children is estimated to be around 10–12 hours.
Supervision/coaching: 2 hours of additional mentoring and support are available ongoing on a fortnightly basis to all trained personnel.
Tools and systems: educators will need access to a device with internet connection for the online training. To deliver the Fun Friends program to children, a digital device for the eBook is recommended although printed books are also available for use.
Item uses these practice principles
- Partnerships with families
- High expectations for every child
- Respectful relationships and responsive engagement
- Integrated teaching and learning approaches
Item responds to these sub-outcomes
Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing.