Education Early Childhood Education

Liberal Nationals to boost language and literacy for vulnerable children in Swan Hill

Wednesday 26th September 2018

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.

Leader of The Nationals and Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh announced that the Rural City of Swan Hill is one of 20 shires across the state to be eligible for the $16 million grants program, which will fund community-driven early learning programs designed to prepare children for school.

“These grants will help boost our children’s literacy skills and get them up to speed sooner,” Mr Walsh said.

“If elected, we’ll help give our children in the Rural City of Swan Hill 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.

Deputy Leader of The Nationals and Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan said early intervention in children's learning will help them to stay engaged at school and give them the best start to life. 
To be successful, eligible community-based programs must show an increase in positive literacy outcomes, improvements in school engagement and greater resilience in children.

“A good education can change the life of a child, which is why improving education outcomes in the early years is so important,” Ms Ryan said.

“A child’s future shouldn’t be determined by where they live. These grants will make sure extra education support is focussed where our kids need it most.”

The $16 million grants program complements the Liberal Nationals’ $80 million Brighter Futures Fund, which is 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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