Dalaigur Preschool celebrated Early Learning Matters Week yesterday by engaging in a range of activities and welcoming member for Cowper Luke Hartsuyker to the centre.
For the first time, early childhood services from every state and territory invited their local federal politicians to visit and experience quality early learning, hearing from educators and parents as to why early learning matters.
Samaritans community services manager for the Mid North Coast, Michelle Stocks, said early learning is important for young children.
“Early learning matters because it’s in these early years before children turn five that children’s brains are growing the fastest and are wired to learn. It’s when the foundations for learning, health and behaviour throughout life are established,” Ms Stocks said.
Samaritans works with Dalaigur Preschool to provide children's families or carers in Kempsey the empowerment and skills to teach their children at home through their HIPPY program, a two year home-based early learning course.
“Engaging children early provides good outcomes and what we do by employing the parents as well gives them the opportunity to further their career as well as learning skills to teach their kids,” Ms Stocks said.
Mr Hartsuyker toured the preschool yesterday before reading a story to the children and having morning tea with the parents and educators.
The Hippy program run by the Samaritans at the preschool has recently received funding, allowing it to continue running until 2021.
“Receiving the funding will let us continue with the program for young children in the community and to also work with their parents. We also hope to accept children as young as three into the program as well,” Ms Stocks said.
“Samaritans is a strong advocate for equal access to education for all children, with a particular focus on accessibility for those families who are vulnerable, because we know that Early Education delivers positive long-term outcomes for young people,” she said.