A learning leg-up for migrant families

A DEVELOPMENT program aimed at newly arrived families is a boon for Hume parents and children.

At a meeting last week, Hume Council received an 18-month progress report on its Supporting Parents – Developing Children program, which has led to employment, increased mother-and-child language

programs and more bilingual storytime sessions.

The $2.9 million project is being jointly funded over three years by the Scanlon Foundation and the state and federal governments.

The program focuses on learning, literacy and creation of employment and training pathways for newly arrived families from ethnic backgrounds.

Cr Helen Patsikatheodorou said that, through the program, 62 women had undertaken a parenting course, 10 women had studied certificate 3 in childhood services, and 30 women had gained employment.

“I think the report stresses the extraordinary success of this program,” she said.

“Three new programs have been established for mother and child English language [sessions].

“And five new CALD (culturally and linguistically diverse)-facilitated playgroups have been established at the early-years hubs. Two have been Arabic, two Assyrian/Chaldean and one Bhutanese, and there are three multicultural playgroups.”

Mayor Ros Spence said the program was providing real support to early childhood development, literacy, community engagement, social cohesion and employment and training for parents.

“The project is helping parents with their children’s development and assisting parents to better understand their children’s needs in terms of language, literacy and learning,” Cr Spence said.

“By teaching parents the importance of learning, we are helping the whole family.”