‘Last chance’: for local preschools to apply for new languages program

Time is running out for Mitchell preschools and child care centres to apply to take part in the Turnbull Government’s popular early language learning program which is being rolled out nationally for the first time.

Federal Member for Mitchell, the Hon Alex Hawke MP, said there’s less than a week to go for local preschools and child care centres to get involved in the Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program that helps children learn one of seven languages – Chinese (Mandarin), Japanese, Indonesian, Spanish, Italian, Arabic or French – using tablet apps and fun, play-based learning.

“We’ve seen really strong interest in our early learning languages program but time is running out for preschools and child care centres to apply for it, this is their last chance,” Alex Hawke said.

“Learning a foreign language doesn’t just give children the gift of the gab, it can boost other vital skills like problem solving and their literacy in English that ultimately carry through to their performance at school.

“The parents, educators and child carers I’ve spoken to who have seen the program in action love the way it engages kids because it’s play-based.

“With just a couple of days left until applications close for the program, preschool and child care centre managers should head to www.ella.edu.au to sign-up. I’d also encourage any parents interested in the program to have a chat with their child’s centre about taking part.”

Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said after a successful two-year trial, the Turnbull Government had invested $15.7 million to make the ELLA program available to preschools across the country.

“More than 1200 preschool services have already applied for ELLA in 2017 and I encourage others to take advantage of this unique educational opportunity,” Minister Birmingham said.

Minister Birmingham said communities from disadvantaged areas would not miss out, with the Government providing funding for 1000 preschools ($500 each) to purchase devices.

Applications close on 26 February 2017, 5:00 PM (AEST).

For more information and to submit an application, visit www.ella.edu.au.