EARLY CHILDHOOD LANGUAGE LEARNING EXPANSION

Thursday 19 August 2021

 Kindergarten children in the Dandenong Ranges area will continue to benefit from learning in a different language at an early age thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government.

Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing today announced that Oxley Kids in Chirnside Park and Little Beacons Learning Centre in Pakenham will be among the 49 services that will share in $953,000 funding from the Government, supporting an additional 11,000 hours of language learning across the state.

The 49 services are already participants in the Government’s $17.9 million Early Childhood Language Program – with Oxley Kids running a Chinese language program and Little Beacons Learning Centre running a Woi Wurrung language program. This extra funding will allow them to double the amount of hours attending kindergarten children learn in another language.

The Early Childhood Language Program is an Australian-first state-funded language program to be rolled out in kindergartens. It features 20 languages including Aboriginal languages, Arabic, Auslan, Chinese, French, Italian and Spanish.

The program provides early childhood services with funding to employ a suitably qualified teacher or educator to deliver part of their kindergarten program in another language.

Languages are incorporated into everyday learning experiences through play, art, music, singing, dancing and stories to give children meaningful opportunities to use the language.

The long-term benefits of children attending kindergartens participating in the language program include better pre-reading and pre-writing skills, improved cognitive flexibility and deeper connections with different cultures.

Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years. That’s why, in an Australian-first, the Victorian Government is also investing almost $5 billion this decade to provide three-year-old children with access to 15 hours of a funded kindergarten program.

Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Victoria Harriet Shing

“Children attending these kindergartens will now have even more opportunities to enjoy learning in another language as well as celebrating other cultures from a young age.”

 Quote attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt

 “We are thrilled to ensure even more young children can reap the rewards of learning in another language, which helps with cognitive skills, reading and writing in a fun, interactive environment.”