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A ‘HIPPY’ approach to early learning

A COLONY 47 early childhood enrichment program is helping parents and carers better understand their role as a child’s first teacher.

The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) equips parents and carers with the tools to deliver positive early learning experiences to pre-school age children.

HIPPY program coordinator Andrea Tall, who is responsible for the Clarendon Vale area, said developing a positive experience around learning before a child reached the age of five-years was “significantly important.”

“If a child can realise success through learning programs before they begin school, then we have already succeeded in setting up positive feelings associated with learning,” she said.

The program, which is progressively run over two-years, is being delivered in Clarendon Vale, Rokeby, Mornington and Warrane.

“The first year provides parents with the concepts and ideas of what they need to expose their child to,” Ms Tall said.

“This includes a stimulating and varied learning experience, which gives them the opportunity to learn new concepts and consolidate emerging skills.

“The second year of the program builds on these skills by introducing more information to the parent about children’s learning and development.”

Parents who participate in HIPPY with their child are also eligible to be trained and employed as a HIPPY home tutor.

“These home tutors then visit parents on a regular basis, providing support, advice, activities and educational resources,” Ms Tall said.

“Some ex-tutors have also been successfully employed with the Department of Education as teacher aids and have gone on to study in the welfare sector.”

For more information about the program or to enrol, contact Andrea Tall on mobile 0429 148 119 or phone Colony 47 on 1800 265 669.

Caption: HIPPY participants, clockwise from left, Kristy-Lee Curlewis, Kylie Muir, Searna Somers and Belinda Docking with children Laylah and Coby Somers at the Clarendon Vale Neighbourhood house.