Education | September 24, 2018

Liberal Nationals to boost language and literacy for vulnerable kids

An elected Liberal Nationals Government will target early language and literacy programs to communities where young children are at risk of falling behind their peers.

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy announced the Ararat and Horsham Rural City Councils and the Northern Grampians and Yarriambiack Shire Councils were four of 20 LGAs across the state to be eligible for the $16 million grants program, which will fund community-driven early learning programs designed to prepare kids for school.

“These grants will help boost our kid’s literacy skills and get them up to speed sooner,” Ms Kealy said.

“If elected, we’ll help give our kids in Ararat, Horsham, Northern Grampians and Yarriambiack LGAs the best start in life and give our communities a leading role in shaping the future by funding local ideas to improve early language and literacy.”

Research shows that young children who are given opportunities and support to explore, play, problem solve, read and socialise in a group environment are better prepared for life and learning.

To be successful, eligible community-based programs must show an increase in positive literacy outcomes, improvements in school engagement and greater resilience in children.

Shadow Minister for Families and Children Georgie Crozier said early intervention in children's learning will help them to stay engaged at school and give them the best start to life. 

“The lack of action from Daniel Andrews and his Labor Government has created a learning gap, leaving some children falling behind,” Ms Crozier said.

“We understand local communities know their needs best and we’ll give them the right support to lead positive change in education.”

The $16 million grants program complements the Liberal Nationals’ $80 million Brighter Futures Fund aimed at lifting education opportunities through better support for parents and children in the early years of schooling.

The Brighter Futures Fund will be invested in integrated education hubs – a one-stop-shop for allied health, early childhood, maternal and child health services, and tertiary education.

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