New support for early learning at home
UOW Early Start wins funding from Ian Potter Foundation
University of Wollongong Early Start – along with key partners in Early Childhood Australia and Playgroup Australia – has been successful with an application to the Ian Potter Foundation for $190,000 over two years to undertake the Early Learning @ Home project.
Early Start’s Professor Marc de Rosnay, Leanne Gibbs and Associate Professor Jane Herbert will oversee the project along with Dr Kate Highfield from Early Childhood Australia and Nadeen Lee from Playgroup Australia.
“Home is the first and most important environment for a young child’s learning, development and wellbeing, but with the extra pressure families and early childhood education centres are under at the moment, support is needed,” Professor de Rosnay said.
Early Learning @ Home will be online platform to support families with their young children’s (birth to five years) learning in the home environment. With a focus on play-based learning and the family’s role in early development, the platform will include:
- High quality, evidence-based content encompassing experiences across all developmental domains aligned with the Australian Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Guidelines for Physical Activity.
- Content that takes into account the needs of families from Aboriginal and other cultural backgrounds, and those experiencing economic and geographic vulnerability.
- Multimodal content that respects family education, culture and ability.
Early Start CEO Anita Kumar said she was excited by the potential reach of the project.
“All content will be made freely available for families and those working with young children, including early childhood education and playgroup programs,” Ms Kumar said.
“This is so important as it means all families and centres, not matter their circumstances will have access to quality learn-from-home materials.
Early Learning @ Home will amplify the impact of information already shared with families, while also creating new content and enhancing the capacity of the early childhood education and playgroup sector to support the home learning environment.
Families in regional and remote areas face greater challenges in accessing high-quality early childhood education and resources. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these challenges and the sustainability of services is under threat in many communities.
The Advisory Committee will include members from AbSec, Evidence for Learning (Social Ventures Australia), Raising Children Network and First Steps Count Taree as well as others as the project progresses.