Whyalla Early Years Taskforce launches Words Grow Minds campaign
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Whyalla Early Years Taskforce launches Words Grow Minds campaign

by Freya Lucas

March 08, 2023

The Early Years Taskforce, an initiative funded by the Department of Education South Australia, and delivered through Raising Literacy Australia, has launched the ‘Words Grow Minds’ campaign in Whyalla, a regional South Australian community. 


Historically children in Whyalla are more developmentally vulnerable than others in SA, as measured by the Australian Early Development Census, and Whyalla is the second SA community to participate in the campaign. 


Words Grow Minds is headed by former Federal Minister for Early Childhood, the Hon. Kate Ellis, who has been appointed by Raising Literacy Australia to work with South Australian government departments and non-government organisations (NGOs) who interact with families of young children to increase the efforts and effectiveness of supporting the development of children aged birth to three years.


Natalie Williams, Library Team Leader at Whyalla Public Library, told local news source Whyalla News Online that the library is thrilled to be involved in the roll out.


“Words Grow Minds gets straight to the heart of how parents and caregivers can help babies and young children thrive: talk, play, read and sing together from birth,” she said.


“It’s a critical message for families.”


The results from the Whyalla pilot will be evaluated to support the future of Words Grow Minds in South Australia for future campaigns. 


“The statistics are clear. We cannot sit back and allow South Australian children to fall further behind children in the rest of the country before they have even started school,” Ms Ellis said.


“Neurological research tells us that critical brain development occurs during the first three years of a child’s life, which directly impacts their future pathways.”


To learn more about the Words Grow Minds campaign, see here. For the original coverage of this story, see here

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