26 September 2023

Kindy’s education to be talk of the town

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Thousands of kindergarten kids are to get the chance to explore different languages and cultures as the Department of Education and Training expands the rollout of its Early Childhood Language Program.

Announced by Minister for Early Childhood, Ingrid Stitt, 47 kindergarten services are to be added to the Program to give about 2,000 more children the chance to learn another language each year.

“The Early Childhood Language Program is delivered by qualified language teachers in partnership with kindergarten staff who incorporate languages into everyday learning experiences – including play, stories, art, music, singing and dancing – to give children meaningful opportunities to use the language,” Ms Stitt said.

“Among the most popular languages are Auslan, Victorian Aboriginal languages and Chinese,” she said.

“The Program has helped children through a range of long-term benefits including better pre-reading and pre-writing skills, improved cognitive flexibility and deeper connections with different cultures.”

Ms Stitt said the Australian-first Program had been running since 2019 and would reach a total of 8,000 children at 220 kindergarten services next year.

The Minister said a further 10 kindergarten services would be offered a place in a new trial of the Program where they would use an existing bilingual educator or teacher to deliver a language program.

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