PSFO Service - Children with additional needs


The Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program at Hume works collaboratively and in partnership with Early Childhood Teachers in funded kindergarten settings to support the delivery of quality inclusive programs to ensure the positive participation of all children, particularly those with additional and diverse needs.

PSFO’s provide support depending on individual needs. Support provided includes:

  • resourcing
  • modelling
  • coaching
  • identification of any adaptations that can be made to the program.
  • strategies
  • referral pathways to assist Early Childhood Teachers and link families into services available for children with developmental concerns and broader child and family supports.

The PSFO program is funded by both the Department of Education (DE) and Hume City Council. Hume City Council manage and deliver the program as a free service to Early Childhood Teachers & families.

For help and support contact our team via our email

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) Service?

The Preschool Field Officer (PSFO) program is a State Government funded program that supports the access, inclusion, and participation of children with additional needs in a funded kindergarten program. This includes children enrolled in funded three & four-year-old Kindergarten, and Early Start Kindergarten.

The PSFO program supports Early Childhood Teachers to build their confidence, knowledge, and skills to provide an inclusive program that is responsive to the needs of all children.

Who can use the Preschool Field Officer Program?

The PSFO program is available to all Early Childhood Teachers requesting inclusion support for children with additional needs who attend a State-funded 3- or 4-year-old Kindergarten program or Early Start Kindergarten.

Who are children with additional needs?

The PSFO program Guidelines 2022 defines children with additional needs as children presenting with developmental concerns. This includes but is not limited to:

  • challenging behaviours
  • speech, language, or communication delays
  • social and emotional difficulties
  • a diagnosed disability
  • family issues that may impact the child.
  • children who have or are experiencing the effects of trauma.

What is the cost of the program?

There is no cost to families or services. It is a State Government funded program.

What if a child is already receiving support from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or an early childhood intervention provider?

If a child is a NDIS or an Early Intervention participant, it is expected that the Early Childhood Teacher in consultation with the family will seek support from this provider in the first instance. If the Early Childhood Teacher has made all efforts but has been unable to engage these supports, they can request support from the PSFO program. If the NDIS supports do not include support to the kindergarten, then a PSFO referral can be made.

What support can the PSFO Program offer?

The PSFO program engages a capacity building approach that recognises and respects the expertise and ongoing role of the Early Childhood Teacher in supporting children’s learning and development by supporting Early Childhood Teachers to:

  • Gain the knowledge and skills to confidently implement practices and provide programs that are responsive to the individual abilities, interests and needs of children with additional needs in an inclusive early childhood environment.
  • See themselves as having both the responsibility and capability to plan for all children in the early childhood program and that it is not only experts with specialist skills who can provide support for the learning and development of children with additional needs.
  • Respond to families’ concerns regarding their child’s development. 

Does the PSFO work directly with families?

PSFOs recognise that families are the child’s first teacher, know their child best and can provide important information regarding the child’s development. PSFOs can support Early Childhood Teachers to build a trusting and respectful relationship with families that enable Early Childhood Teachers to plan and provide for the ongoing learning and development of the child in the kindergarten program.

The PSFO can meet with the family or talk to the family via phone call if requested. Early Childhood Teachers are encouraged to facilitate family meetings with the PSFO’s support.

Parents/guardians of children who attend an early childhood service who have concerns regarding their child’s development are encouraged to discuss these with their child’s Early Childhood Teacher in the first instance. Where a parent/guardian directly contacts the PSFO program, the PSFO will liaise with the relevant Early Childhood Teacher to progress the request for support.

Who Can Request Support?

  • Early Childhood Teachers/professionals
  • Parents/Guardians in collaboration with the child’s Early Childhood Teacher
  • Other health care professionals with parental/guardian consent and in collaboration with the child’s Early Childhood Teacher