The importance of addressing the pre-literacy learning needs of disadvantaged children is supported by international and domestic evidence, which indicates that strong pre-literacy skills are vital for success in reading development and educational engagement. Similar research identifies that a disparity exists upon school entry in the early language and literacy experiences between children raised in higher and lower socioeconomic conditions.
The Greater Charitable Foundation's support of the Early Language and Literacy program from 2019-2022 enabled ALNF to establish the program at eight new sites within the Taree region. This provided training, support and mentoring to 105 learners, with 20 participants awarded Certificate IVs in the program and others continuing with ALNF mentoring to embed strategies into their practice. The new 2023 partnership will enable ALNF to expand their support to offer the program to at least 40 educators working across 15 learning sites in Taree and the nearby towns of Old Bar, Nabiac and Coolongolook. Over three years, ALNF will deliver targeted, evidence-based training and resources to educators, parents, carers and other interested community members aiming to equip local adults to support the foundational language and literacy development of more than 500 children.