Victoria government logo

Preschool Field Officer program

Preschool Field Officers provide short-term guidance and coaching to early childhood educators. This support aims to improve the inclusion of children with additional needs.

The Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program is a targeted and time-limited capacity-building program. All Victorian funded kindergarten programs are eligible to receive PSFO service to support the access, inclusion and participation of children with additional needs in a kindergarten program.

This includes children enrolled in Four-Year-Old Kindergarten, funded Three-Year-Old Kindergarten and Early Start Kindergarten.

Funded kindergarten programs are provided in a variety of settings including children’s centres, long day care centres, community kindergartens, independent schools and some government schools.

Preschool field officers (PSFOs) use a locally responsive approach that includes consultative support, resourcing and practical advice to assist early childhood educators.

PSFOs also assist early childhood educators to link families into supports and services available for children with developmental concerns and broader child and family supports.

Children with additional needs

The PSFO program defines children with additional needs as children presenting with developmental concerns. Developmental concerns may be associated with any area of children’s development, from language delays or challenging behaviours through to children with multiple disabilities.

Children with additional needs resulting from trauma are also eligible for a PSFO referral.

If a child’s development is supported by a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)External Link or early childhood intervention continuity of support provider, it is expected that the early childhood educator in consultation with the family will seek support from this provider in the first instance.

Early childhood intervention professionals can provide strategies that support the child to participate meaningfully in learning experiences with their peers that are consistent with strategies being implemented across other settings where the child spends their time.

The PSFO role

PSFOs work within the context of the kindergarten program. The PSFO works with the early childhood educators to enhance their capacity and confidence in providing an inclusive program that is responsive to the needs of all children. The PSFO does not deliver direct intervention to a child within the kindergarten program.

The role of the PSFO is to support, guide and coach early childhood educators to provide high quality programs that support the inclusion of children with additional needs.

Support to educators may include:

  • provision of information and resources, and identification of adaptations, strategies and experiences to inform programming for a child with additional needs
  • identification of a child with additional needs through contributing to the assessment of the child’s capabilities as well as their learning and development needs
  • supporting early childhood educator’s confidence and capacity to respond to a parent’s concerns regarding their child’s development
  • provision of planning support that respects, acknowledges and complements the educator’s expertise in supporting children’s learning and development
  • coaching of an educator to assist with planning and implementation of an inclusive kindergarten program that supports a child with additional needs
  • building professional partnerships and collaborative relationships with educators
  • modelling of specific skills, suggestions and strategies with educators
  • assistance to embed child specific teaching and learning approaches and opportunities into the everyday kindergarten environment
  • identification of referral pathways and facilitation of linkages for families to the range of child and family supports, including more specialised assessment and services, when required.

PSFO addresses by region

South Western Victoria

Gateway Support Services
10-12 Albert Street, Geelong West, 3218
Phone: 03 5221 2984

Gateway Support Services
50 Thompson Street, Hamilton, 3300
Phone: 03 5571 9114

Wimmera Uniting
PO Box 442, Horsham, 3402
Phone: 03 5382 6789

Pinarc Disability Support
PO Box 1841, Bakery Hill, 3354
Phone: 03 5329 1300

Brimbank City Council
PO Box 70, Sunshine, 3020
Phone: 03 9249 4210

Melton City Council
PO Box 21, Melton, 3337
Phone: 03 9747 5316

Wyndham City Council
PO Box 197, Werribee, 3030
Phone: 03 9742 8199

Moonee Valley City Council
PO Box 126, Moonee Ponds, 3039
Phone: 03 9243 1052

Lentara Uniting
PO Box 4, North Melbourne, 3051
Phone: 0417 318 569

Hobsons Bay City Council
PO Box 21, Altona, 3018
Phone: 03 9932 1000

Warrnambool City Council
PO Box 198
Warrnambool Victoria 3280
Phone: 03 5559 4800

North Eastern Victoria

Knox City Council
511 Burwood Highway, Wantirna South, 3152
Phone: 03 9298 8328

Manningham City Council
699 Doncaster Road, Doncaster, 3108
Phone: 03 9840 9333

Shire of Yarra Ranges
PO Box 105, Lilydale, 3140
Phone: 1300 368 333

City of Monash
PO Box 1, Glen Waverley, 3150
Phone: 03 9518 3549

City of Boroondara
Private Bag 1, Camberwell, 3124
Phone: 03 9278 4444

Uniting Connections
PO Box 354, Ringwood, 3134
Phone: 03 9871 0221

Scope (Victoria)
PO Box 128, Benalla, 3672
Phone: 03 5762 7121

Wangaratta Upper Murray Family Care
PO Box 389, Wangaratta, 3677
Phone: 03 5720 0000

Wodonga Upper Murray Family Care
PO Box 725, Wodonga, 3690
Phone: 02 6055 8000

North Western Victoria

St Lukes Anglicare
PO Box 315, Bendigo, 3552
Phone: 03 5440 1100 and 03 5440 1111

St Lukes Anglicare
PO Box 137, Kyneton, 3444
Phone: 03 5422 6052

St Lukes Anglicare
PO Box 1147, Echuca, 3564
Phone: 03 5482 0910

Mallee Family Care
PO Box 1870, Mildura, 3502
Phone: 03 5023 5966

Noah's Ark Murray Early Intervention Service
64 Pye Street, Swan Hill, 3585
Phone: 03 5032 2351

Merri-bek City Council
Locked Bag 10
Brunswick Victoria 3056
Phone 03 9240 2314

City of Yarra
PO Box 168, Richmond, 3121
Phone: 03 9205 5441

Darebin City Council
8a Newcastle Street, Thornbury, 3071
Phone: 03 8470 8888

City of Hume
Pascoe Vale Road, Broadmeadows, 3047
Phone: 03 9205 2537

Lentara Uniting (Nillumbik, Banyule, Whittlesea)
C/O St Andrews Uniting Church Kindergarten, Corner Rattray and Mountain View Roads, Montmorency, 3094
Phone: Nillumbik 0417 315 687, Banyule 0417 312 348, Whittlesea 0417 311 688

South Eastern Victoria

South Gippsland Shire Council
Locked Bag 4, Leongatha, 3953
Phone: 03 5662 9205

Latrobe City Council
PO Box 264, Morwell, 3840
Phone: 1300 367 700

Uniting Gippsland
PO Box 1454, Bairnsdale, 3875
Phone: 03 5152 9600

City of Casey
PO Box 1000, Narre Warren 3805
Phone: 03 9705 5200

City of Greater Dandenong
PO Box 200, Dandenong, 3175
Phone: 03 8571 1814 and 03 8571 1817

Uniting Bayside and Kingston

Uniting Frankston and Mornington

Cardinia Shire
45 Yazaki Way
Carrum Downs Victoria 3201
Phone: 1300 677 275

Baw Baw Shire Council
PO Box 304, Warragul, 3820
Phone: 03 5624 2540

Port Phillip, Stonnington and Glen Eira

More information

Reviewed 31 August 2023


Was this page helpful?