Bulldogs players help Young Academics to be safe on the road
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Young Academics marks Road Safety week with new campaign for children and families

Young Academics marks Road Safety week with new campaign for children and families

by Freya Lucas

May 10, 2024

Long day care provider Young Academics Early Learning has marked Road Safety Week by creating a new road safety campaign for the children in its care and their families.


Alarmed by statistics which show that one Australian child dies after being hit by a car every week, and that land transport accidents are the biggest cause of death for children under the age of 14, the provider used its partnership with NRL team the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs to create the campaign. 


Players Connor Tracey, Karl Oloapu and Viliame Kakau visited the children and educators at Young Academics Pendle Hill to help to bring the road safety message to life through a series of age-appropriate games, storytelling activities, role playing, seatbelt safety demonstrations and workshops on traffic signs and crossing the road safely.

This visit was filmed and will be used in a social media campaign which will help remind Young Academics’ families, and the broader community, to remain vigilant whenever children are around cars, roads, and driveways and to reinforce the fact that children are never too young to start learning about road safety.


Jenni Gaffney, Young Academics Director of Operations thanked the players for volunteering and giving their time to engage with the children. 


“Children are naturally curious, excitable, fast moving and often unable to assess risk, which makes them particularly vulnerable,” she explained.


“Unfortunately, whilst schools have mandatory 40km zones, there is currently no such safety provision for childcare centres in New South Wales, so it is critical for us to do everything we can to teach our children how to behave safely around roads, and to remind families to always hold their child’s hand when crossing the road, walking alongside the road, or when dropping their child off, or picking them up for childcare or preschool.”


Content for the campaign, including the role-playing, games, mock car activities and real-life demonstrations provided by the Bulldogs players, were part of Young Academics’ Evolution and Transition to school program, utilising external experts and road safety resources to reflect and enhance the curriculum, with activities planned according to different age groups, including toddlers and preschoolers.


“The statistics around children being hit by cars are devastating, and we are committed to doing everything we can to promote road safety education and to create learning opportunities that are socially and developmentally appropriate for the children in our care,” Ms Gaffney added.  


The campaign involves a number of simple activities which parents can replicate with young children at home including: 


–        Traffic light colour matching art and craft

–        Using daily walks to point out traffic signs, explain what they mean, and demonstrate how to safely cross the street at designated crosswalks

–        Play road safety games like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ to teach children about traffic signals and when to stop and go

–        Printable road safety-themed colouring pages

–        Showing children how to fasten their seatbelt, and supervise whilst they practice

–        Read stories with safety messages such as Duck and Cover by Jackie Urbanovic or Be Safe Around Traffic by Bridget Heos

–        Sing themed nursery rhymes such as Traffic Light (to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star):


Twinkle twinkle traffic light
on the corner shining bright
Red means Stop and green means Go
Yellow means go very SLOW
Twinkle twinkle traffic light
on the corner shining bright. 


As part of the new campaign, Young Academics will provide resources to families in all of the communities where it operates, including road safety awareness tips and links to additional information.

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