NELLS Two Page Summary 2021
The Proposed National Early Language and Literacy Strategy (Proposed National Strategy) has four priorities with one aim:
Before starting school, children are provided with the best opportunities to develop early language and literacy skills… …ensuring that these opportunities are provided in safe and nurturing environments in which material needs are met, and acknowledging that early language and literacy skills are foundational to learn; be healthy; develop a positive sense of identity and culture; and participate within families, communities and society; throughout childhood, into adolescence and adulthood. The Proposed National Strategy provides governments in Australia with foundational information and a strategic direction for a government endorsed and fully implemented National Early Language and Literacy Strategy. Its four priorities reflect the environments in which infant and child language and literacy development is most likely to be nurtured and the systems to be utilised in a coordinated response. It is inclusive of children who are introduced to sounds and words in their first language; who come from a text-based or an oral tradition. Home, family and community relationships and groups; community settings such as libraries, health care centres, playgroups, language and cultural centres, and online/digital platforms; specialist support (e.g. speech pathology); early childhood education and care services, including preschool and kindergarten programs; child and maternal health services; family, community and welfare services; allied health, early intervention services and disability support services; public library networks; and research, evaluation and policy development. In which settings and sectors does the Proposed National Strategy apply?
4 QUESTIONS, 4 PRIORITIES
Priority One: Family Support within Communities. How can families be empowered to read, play, sing, and communicate with their child/ren from birth, and have a home environment that embraces and encourages learning? Answer : The importance of
language and literacy development is meaningfully understood by the public, Australian governments, community services, and health and support workers; and families and carers have access to culturally responsive services, support and information. Priority Two: Early Education and Transitions How can it be ensured that early childhood education and care services, and evidence-informed learning approaches, are best used to enhance early language and literacy skills? Answer: Australian governments commit to ensuring children’s access to and participation in early education for at least two years prior to starting school; and early childhood education and care services are supported to embed high-quality evidence for early language and literacy development into their workforce training and practice. Priority Three: Specialist Support When required, how can infants, children and their families be assured access to specialist support for early language and literacy delays or impairments? Answer: Ensure sectors are resourced to support the early and appropriate identification of language and literacy delays among children before they start school; services are accessible and provided in culturally responsive ways; and the nature of specialist support and ways of engaging their services is widely understood among families and across sectors. Priority Four – Knowledge Production and Dissemination How can knowledge of the best approaches for early language and literacy development be made accessible to families, communities, educators, practitioners, service providers and policy-makers? Answer : Research and evaluation on Australian-based programs and practices are resourced and supported, and meaningful co-design and/or leadership by beneficiaries and target populations is prioritised. Practical findings are exchanged among professionals through existing specialist and education networks; and among families and communities using safe and accessible spaces and formats.
For more information see https://earlylanguageandliteracy.org.au/
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