ASPIRE: helping kids thrive


$172,500 (March 2019 – April 2020)

Funding Amount

2017 to June 2022





ASPIRE is a place-based initiative that supports the early identification of developmental vulnerability in pre-primary children at the Good Samaritan Catholic Primary School. This is achieved in partnership with DPV Health, Hume City Council, Foundation House and Community Hubs Australia.

Commissioned by North Western Melbourne Primary Health Network since 2017, it was nominated as a finalist in the 2019 Victorian Early Years Awards.

ASPIRE was driven by a demonstrated local need, the proportion of children who are developmentally vulnerable in the Hume local government area being much higher compared with Victoria as a whole. One of the most important ASPIRE activities is a supported playgroup with families using a bicultural worker.

Before the COVID-19 outbreak, 148 children were involved in these playgroups. ASPIRE later transitioned to a closed Facebook page to conduct playgroup when face-to-face sessions were no longer allowed. Fortnightly themed learning packs, supported by online engagement, are distributed to families to support play and activity between parents and their children.

Other key ASPIRE activities include:

  • access to speech pathology and occupational therapy in the classroom through the Step Into Prep program, enabling better outcomes for students and teachers, and adaptive learning opportunities for the classroom
  • parent engagement groups that enable conversations about services available to families, and feedback about those services.

ASPIRE is a critical support for the highly culturally diverse Good Samaritan school community in Melbourne’s northern suburbs.

Services involved