Winning idea

Adopt a “Grandparent”

Idea: Link local childcare centres with local retirement villages. Set up a roster of volunteers from our older population to spend regular time with preschoolers, increasing one-on-one time for preschoolers.

Details: Our retired population is living longer and have much to contribute. Children benefit from one-on-one attention and the insights of another generation. Childcare staff would benefit from small periods of relief/assistance.

University credit for part time nannying - Kate Chaney
Salary sacrifice for childcare - Bec Cordony

Support winning idea

About the winner

Olivia Lanchester


Olivia is an intellectual property lawyer with a passion for books. She's the Legal Services Manager at the Australian Society of Authors and strives to protect and promote the interests of writers and illustrators. She has experience in copyright advice, law reform and campaigning at industry and government levels for creators' rights. Olivia and her husband have three gorgeous “thriving” kids!

What inspired your idea?
My mum! Since retiring, my mum is a whirlwind of energy and provides my kids with such special care, attention and wisdom. If only all kids could have such a kind presence in their early lives. As we're living longer, it seems sensible to tap into the warm wisdom of retirees to boost the quality of early childcare education.

What does winning mean for you?
I love the fact this competition is constructive and a forum for positive, feasible change. Even small ideas can change our community for the better.

What are the three key steps to take your idea to the next stage?
1. Identify an area in which to run a pilot program. Within that area, seek involvement from childcare centres and retiree volunteers
2. Create a register of volunteers who have Working with Children Checks, detailing availability
3. Set up an efficient way for childcare centres to access the register to book volunteers into regular weekly/fortnightly visits, on a term-by-term basis

What will you do with your $500 prize?
Er...take my mum out to dinner! And, given we’re talking about early child education, buy some new books for my local preschool.