Play Learn Grow making strong impact for Victorian parents
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Play Learn Grow making strong impact for Victorian parents

by Freya Lucas

June 08, 2022

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) professionals in Victoria have welcomed the roll out of Play Learn Grow, a popular text message program which provides Victorian parents and carers with messages to help them understand, support and guide the development of their two and three-year-old children.


Program themes correspond with early childhood developmental goals and provide reassurance for busy parents. Topics covered in the program include:  


  • Self-care for parents
  • Interactive reading
  • Learning through play
  • Language development.


To register, parents simply text the word PLAY to 0428 606 027 to receive the free text messages, with tips from experts in early childhood education. Messages are short, engaging and include activities that are easy to implement. Samples of some of the messages in the program have been included throughout this article. 

Many parents enjoy reading to their child – try leaving out the rhyming word and see if your child says the word. Say their favourite rhymes together at other times in the day, just for fun!

The 24-week program supports parents to help their child prepare for three-year-old kindergarten by providing fun ideas to help children learn new words, encourage creative thinking and strengthening their self-confidence, building strong foundations for the future. The program also helps support in-service learning for children who are accessing ECEC, by giving families engaging ideas to complement their learning in ECEC settings, at home. 

Objects like toy phones act as props to encourage talking. When you pretend play with a prop, you’re giving your child practice using communication skills. It’s as simple as “talking on the phone” together! Be ready to use your imagination!

Play Learn Grow recognises parents and carers as a child’s first teacher, and supports the important work being undertaken as children learn through play in ECEC settings. The inclusive program provides messaging in five key community languages (Arabic, Dari, Farsi, Karen and Simplified Chinese) to make it accessible to a broader population of families. 

Put a mix of small toys, safe household objects and natural items like leaves in a box. Then ask your child to reach in and describe what they feel and look like. This helps your child connect their sense of touch and sight with words.

The team behind Play Learn Grow are encouraging Victorian educators to support the program by sharing information with parents and families and helping them register. For more information about Play Learn Grow, please visit the website

At your child’s age, learning looks like play because they learn best when they’re active – for example, playing with pots and pans while you cook dinner. It’s called “hands-on” or “minds-on” play. Don’t be afraid to join in when you have time!

A number of promotional materials are available for ECEC services to use, including a Communication Kit, a poster, a flyer and social media tiles. These resources are also available in community languages. 


To register for the program, click here, or text PLAY to 0428 606 027. Learn more about the program here.

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