Play2Learn will boost outcomes for Tasmania’s three and four-year-old children
Over the next three years, Save the Children will deliver Play2Learn+, a specialist early childhood and parenting service, to 300 children in at least 13 school districts in Hobart.
In a first for early childhood, the full funding potential will only be realised when Save the Children Australia delivers the expected project outcomes for Tasmanian children and their families.
The service will target children aged between three and four years from low socioeconomic backgrounds in the lead up to their commencement in kindergarten and formal education. It aims to:
- drive improvements in child development and wellbeing;
- build capacity and confidence in carers to support children’s learning and development; and,
- sustain educational engagement at critical transition points.
“We know that investment in early childhood development and school readiness gives all children the best start in life, but despite the best intentions some children still miss out,” said Save the Children’s Executive Director of Australian Services, Matt Gardiner.
“It’s no longer good enough to have good intentions.”
“With payments based on outcomes, rather than activities or how many staff we hire, we are holding ourselves to the most important accountability standard. We will need to demonstrate real time impact for the children and families we work with.”
Initially the program will take place in Tasmania, however Save the Children plan to take the approach to all States and Territories so that every Australian child has the opportunity to start ready for school.
“We worked really closely with the Tasmanian Government to make sure this service is being directed to the right children in the areas that most need it,” Mr Gardiner explained.
Paul Ramsay Foundation’s Chief Portfolio Officer Abhilash Mudaliar said that supporting the Payment by Outcomes model was a good example of how philanthropy can help fund innovative approaches to improving outcomes for children.
“Play2Learn+ has enormous potential in giving kids an early ‘off ramp’ off the cycle of disadvantage, before they’ve even set foot in a school,” he said.
“This innovative partnership will improve early childhood engagement, attendance in early childhood education, and broader developmental outcomes for many of Tasmania’s youngest children.”
“Our hope also is that this program will provide new evidence on what works and enable expansion of the approach to other geographies.”
Save the Children currently delivers Play2Learn in communities across Australia through home visits and playgroups run by specialist early childhood educators and parent coaches, and it has been demonstrated that Play2Learn helps to improve early childhood engagement, attendance and developmental outcomes prior to entering kindergarten.
To be eligible, children must plan to attend one of the 13 specified schools in greater Hobart, have a parent who holds a Concession Card, be at least thee years old and attending less than 10 hours per week of childcare.
For more information about Play2Learn please see here.
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