Extract from an article by Heath Parkes-Hupton
A program that helps disadvantaged children needs more funding to meet the demand of local families.
The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) hub at Plumpton has enough funding to support 30 families but there are still 25 families on the program’s waiting list.
HIPPY is aimed at giving children aged between 4 and 5 the best chance of making a successful start at school by training parents to be their child’s first teacher.
“We have a very structured and practical program which aims to maximise the chance that school entry is as successful as possible for our children,” manager Annette Coleman said.
“Our children learn pre-numeracy and literacy skills and also gain social skills through the program. But what separates us from other youth programs is that we tutor the childrens’ parents to help them prepare their kids for school.”
Parents are taught to spend 10 to 15 minutes per day doing educational activities with their children.
“This is especially important with disadvantaged children or for families that have English as a second language,” Ms Coleman said.
The program assigns each family a tutor who has previously been through the two-year program as a parent. Extra funding would allow for more tutors to be employed to assist the 25 families waiting to enter the program.
SOURCE: Parkes-Hupton, Heath. “HIPPY program looking for more funding to meet demand of disadvantaged families.” The Star, St Marys-Mt Druitt, 9 September 2016.
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