UOW portal will assist families to regain lost learning opportunities from the pandemic

UOW portal will assist families to regain lost learning opportunities from the pandemic

by Freya Lucas

April 11, 2022

A new free online portal has been created by the team from Early Start at the University of Wollongong (UOW), designed to satisfy a need for quality, evidence-based early childhood learning resources available freely and online.

 

Families who missed out on opportunities to play and learn with their pre-school children during the Pandemic will be able to access high-quality play experiences online via Play & Learn Together which was created by Early Start with partners Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and Playgroup Australia thanks for generous support from The Ian Potter Foundation.

 

Playgroup NSW CEO Nadene Lee said the launch is well timed considering the challenges families have faced over the previous two years. 

 

“The pandemic has highlighted the need for families to have access to early learning support for their children, and quality, evidence-based play resources,” she said.

 

“The wealth of knowledge and passion that has gone into producing this platform is representative of how our impact can expand through partnerships.”

 

The portal features curated content designed to support families and carers with young children’s learning in the home environment, with a focus on evidence-informed, play-based learning and the family’s role in early development.

 

Play, Early Start CEO Anita Kumar noted, can be an integral pathway to supporting children’s wellbeing and development as well as boosting resilience. 

 

“Through this free platform we hope to support children, families and educators in creating fun, home learning environments focussed on play-based learning,” she added. 

 

Activities on the platform are underpinned by contemporary research, and connect with the outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework and World Health Organisation guidelines, making it a useful tool for educators also. 

 

The portal, Ms Kumar continued, offers family and early childhood educators several advantages, including:

 

  • High quality content based on the latest research
  • Content designed with the needs of families from Aboriginal and other cultural backgrounds at the forefront
  • Regularly updated and multimodal content, catering to the differing needs or educational background of families.
  • Content that can be customised for individuals and optimised for use across mobile devices and desktop computers.

 

“Young children are learning all the time,” ECA CEO Samantha Page added. 

 

“They are curious and excited to understand the world around them. Every parent wants to support their child to learn and play, and play-based learning really is the best way to do that.”

 

“This website can help with ideas about play-based activities and tips for guiding children as they follow their interests and establish routines.”

 

To access the portal please see here

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