The importance of learning and early childhood development has been in the news of late, particularly with the recent report by the UNICEF Office of Research, Building the Future: Children and the Sustainable Development Goals in Rich Countries, which ranked Australia 39th out of 41 European and OECD countries when it came to participation rates in early learning.
But while the report delved into the benefits to children of participating in early learning before starting primary school, what about the skills they develop at home?
The Language in Little Ones (LiLO) study being run by the Telethon Kids Institute and the South Australian Department for Education and Child Development is currently recruiting participant families in Adelaide. They are looking to build on the seminal study carried out by Hart and Risley which calculated that an additional 30 million words were being spoken to children from higher socioeconomic families between birth and the age of 4.
The study is looking to investigate language in the home environment during the early years of development. They are recruiting families with children born between February and October 2017 to participate in the study now, with additional recruitment of children turning 3 years between November 2018 and April 2019 to start participating from late 2018.
Early Learning Review spoke to project coordinator Mary Brushe about the research and how they will address privacy issues of recording speech in the home.
To find out more about the study and register as a participant: https://www.telethonkids.org.au/projects/lilo
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