Kindytxt helps WA parents ensure their children are school ready
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Kindytxt helps WA parents ensure their children are school ready

Kindytxt helps WA parents ensure their children are school ready

by Freya Lucas

December 15, 2022

A new collaborative project by Edith Cowan University (ECU) and the State Library of Western Australia Better Beginnings kindergarten program is seeking to boost the school readiness of WA’s children through a program of targeted text messaging. 


Known as Kindytxt, the program sends parents messages three times a week providing them with home activities to encourage children’s language and literacy learning and love of books in a bid to boost school readiness.  


The program is the first Australian early childhood literacy-based texting program that is scalable, cost effective, accessible for vulnerable families and incorporates outcome measures.  


“What parents and teachers are telling us is that receiving those text alerts have assisted and complimented what schools do to lay the foundations for children’s language and literacy learning,” said ECU Early Childhood Research Group’s Professor Lennie Barblett. 


“Parents and carers said the program increased their capacity and confidence for learning in the home and found the activities easy to use and very helpful for the entire family.”


Kindytxt was implemented in WA following evidence from numerous American research studies that showed text messages successfully increased school-readiness and family-school engagement in early childhood settings.  


“As digital technologies are increasingly ever-present, the texting program provides an important new resource for early childhood educators, including parents/carers/librarians and other service providers, to support early literacy and school readiness,” Professor Barblett added.


A total of 90 text messages are delivered over 30 weeks during the program. Families were invited to participate through a flyer, which came in the book gifting bag delivered by local librarians to all families with a child attending kindergarten across Western Australia. 


The text messages encouraged activities, such as shared reading, storytelling, singing songs and nursery rhymes, paying attention to print, and attending library activities all of which support children to learn about concepts about words, letters, phonological and phonemic awareness.  


‘Message’ effectiveness 


Over 1,005 people in WA registered for Kindytxt:  


  • 79 library staff 
  • 77 school staff 
  • 849 parent/carers 
  • 85.7 per cent of teachers and 85.1 per cent of librarians indicated they always or mostly read the three Kindytxt messages they received  


“What this says to us is that using text messaging as a way of communicating with busy parents, who make the time to enjoy reading, playing and exploring print with young children to help with preparing for school is a flexible, effective and enjoyable way of making that happen,” Professor Barblett said. 


ECU’s Early Childhood Research Group along with SLWA Better Beginnings are seeking funding to continue the program into 2023 and beyond. 

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