Lifelong literacy skills the aim of community partnership
A program focused on promoting language development in babies is showing great benefits for families in the Mackay region.
Goodstart Macalister Street Mackay has partnered with First 5 Forever, a Queensland Government initiative, to run a program within the centre called Baby Bounce.
It invites families with babies from birth to walking, to spend half an hour in the centre to focus on babies’ language skills by learning songs, nursery rhymes, finger plays, and stories in a relaxed and supportive environment.
Senior educator Shirlene Chick said the program was focused on introducing families to the joys and rewards of early literacy.
“Baby Bounce is a free program that helps support the learning, development, and well-being of all children and families within our community. The program runs for four weeks and is conducted at our centre by an employee from First Fives Forever. During the sessions, babies are introduced into the wonderful world of stories, songs and rhymes,” Ms Chick said.
“It’s the first time Baby Bounce sessions have been conducted in a childcare centre in the Mackay area, and we’re already receiving fantastic feedback from the families attending.
“Sharing stories, reading, and singing to children from a very young age is important because it encourages them to learn and develop crucial cognitive and oral language skills, and emotional development,” Ms Chick said.
“There are also many benefits for parents who attend the program, such as making new friends, growing their support network, and learning how to build language and literacy into their daily routines at home,” she said.
A major focus for the centre has been working with the broader community to help enrich children’s learning and development and their success has been reflected in the positive partnership they have developed with First 5 Forever.
“The connections we’ve built with First 5 Forever are helping us enhance children’s learning and well-being as well as strengthening our relationships with families within the wider community,” Ms Chick said.
For more information about First 5 Forever or Baby Bounce,visit: