Victoria expands Early Language Program with 47 new ECEC services coming on board

Victoria expands Early Language Program with 47 new ECEC services coming on board

by Freya Lucas

March 15, 2022

Children attending kindergarten in Victoria will have the chance to explore different languages and cultures through the expanded roll-out of the Victorian Government’s Early Childhood Language Program, with another 47 kindergarten services joining the program, giving 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. 

 

Popular options for language learning include Auslan, Victorian Aboriginal languages and Chinese. 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. 

 

Running since 2019, the Australian-first program will next year reach a total of 8,000 children at 220 kindergarten services, providing employment opportunities for 150 language teachers across 25 different languages. A further 10 kindergarten services will be offered a place in a new trial of the program where they will use an existing educator or teacher who is bilingual and can deliver a language program. 

 

Victoria’s Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt said she was excited to announce the expansion which gives more opportunities to children and creates more jobs. 

 

“We know that it’s fun to explore different languages and cultures – but this program is also providing Victorian kids with long-term benefits including important foundational skills and a strong sense of community.”

 

To learn more about the program please see here

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