Second bilingual preschool site announced
Following from the October 18 announcement regarding the Early Childhood Language Program, the second Victorian site for a bilingual preschool was announced – Alpha Children’s Centre in Richmond, Melbourne.
Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Education Jenny Mikakos and Member for Richmond Richard Wynne visited Alpha Children’s Centre in Richmond today to meet staff and parents after the centre was selected to run a bilingual Greek program.
Alpha will deliver up to half of their program – including meal time, lessons, playtime, supervision and other routines – in Greek, being one of two kindergartens in Victoria funded to deliver a bilingual Greek program, alongside Oakleigh Grammar Early Learning Centre.
Richmond families will also be able to access Italian language classes which will run out of the Cooke Court Child Care Centre, with the Victorian Government describing the Australian-first investment as one which will give children stronger connections to the language they speak at home.
The announcement forms part of the funded language programs announced earlier, with an expected reach of more than 5,000 children across 160 kindergartens, in a range of languages including Mandarin, Punjabi, Arabic, Italian, Vietnamese, Japanese, French and Spanish.
Among these are 29 kindergartens which will offer Aboriginal languages and 27 that will offer Auslan.
The Victorian Government will fund extra staff to teach children these new languages in partnership with existing staff at no cost to parents or the early childhood services.
Mr Wynne said that the announcement would ensure children stayed connected with their language and heritage, saying the announcement reflected the diversity of Richmond’s population.