Supporting Home Literacy Practices: Extolling Strategies to Support the Development of Programs in Informal Settings
Early literacy is a key factor in a child’s development in the years before they start school. It often is used as one of the key indicators of a child’s early development, and as shown in various longitudinal studies, it affects the way children progress through school and their later life. As the evidence of the benefits of early intervention accumulates, there needs to be more recognition of the place of early literacy within early intervention strategies in disadvantaged communities.
A significant proportion of children, living in disadvantaged communities, and outside the formal early childhood system (pre-school, long day care or occasional care), start school with little exposure to any significant level or range of early literacy practices. This paper reports on a qualitative study with Aboriginal and CALD mothers and carers in an inner city part of Sydney, who attended mothers groups or supported playgroups. Taking a socio-cultural approach the study explores the views of front-line community workers and the experiences of mothers and carers with early literacy in a range of informal community based settings and programs. The research has implications for the development of strategies to support the development of programs in informal settings and the development of strategies to engage and support parents and carers.
Keywords: Early Literacy, Disadvantaged Communities
Prof. Liam Morgan
Senior Lecturer, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney