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New website to help parents improve child’s numeracy and literacy

An innovative new website that provides parents of young children with activities to improve their child’s numeracy and literacy skills has been launched.

The Great Start website (www.greatstart.sa.edu.au) offers parents of children aged under five years valuable learning resources including games and activities based on everyday
experiences.

Education and Childhood Development Minister Jennifer Rankine said parents can play a pivotal role in developing their child’s early learning abilities.

“We know that the most important time for a child’s brain development is in their first five years so it is really important that parents are involved in developing these skills,” Ms Rankine said.

“This fantastic new resource will equip parents with practical, hands-on information and aids so they can give their child the best possible start to their education.

“Children learn language by listening. Reading, singing and talking to your young child is crucial to them developing sound literacy and numeracy skills.”

The website provides parents with a range of ideas and activities centred around everyday activities including Play, Food, Out and About, Growing, Getting Ready and Celebrations.

“Young children can learn and use numeracy if they are supported by parents using numeracy language and concepts every day in everyday situations,” she said.

The website incorporates findings from the national Engaging Families in Early Child Development Story initiative.

It includes neuroscience research, the importance of identifying key messages to communicate to parents, research on parent perceptions of numeracy and literacy and research into effective social marketing campaigns that result in parent behaviour change.

Activities are searchable by age, materials and the skills developed.

The website launch coincided with Powerful Learners Summit which is has brought together more than 100 teachers, school leaders, parents, students and peak body
representatives to develop an action plan to improve student achievement in numeracy and literacy.

“This summit is all about equipping tomorrow’s workforce with the capacity to think smart,” Ms Rankine said.

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