Department program

Early childhood language program

Giving preschool children the opportunity to learn another language.

From term one 2019, funding will be available to allow around 3,000 preschool children across Victoria the chance to learn a language in addition to English.

The funding will allow services to deliver these language programs at no additional costs to their service or to parents and carers.

Information sessions

Find out more about the early childhood language programs by attending an information session near you. The sessions are open to:

  • early childhood educators
  • parents and carers
  • eligible early childhood services
  • kindergarten communities
  • service managers  

The sessions will cover:

  • how the program works
  • funding eligibility
  • the expression of interest process

Register for a session near you

Monday 25 June

Tuesday 26 June 

Wednesday 27 June

Thursday 28 June

Friday 29 June

About the program

In consultation with their preschool communities, early childhood services can choose to take part in one of the following language programs:

  1. Learn languages at kindergarten:
    • children will learn in another language for up to three hours per week
    • this will be offered across 120 kindergarten services.
  2. Bilingual kindergartens:
    • children will learn in another language for up to seven and a half hours per week
    • 10 kindergarten services will receive funding to transition to this model

Languages delivered

Eligible services can recommend which language they would prefer. The choice of languages will be guided by:

  • each kindergarten and the diversity of their local community
  • languages spoken by children who are newly arrived or have refugee backgrounds
  • consultation with parents and educators
  • the potential for continuity in language education at nearby primary schools
  •  the availability of qualified staff.

Eligibility

Funding is available for early childhood services offering a state-funded kindergarten program assessed as meeting or exceeding the National Quality Standard.

Expressions of interest will open in mid-July 2018 and close in mid-August 2018.

How the program works

A team of 25 qualified language teachers will be engaged to deliver the program.

This is above existing staffing levels required by the National Quality Standard and by kindergarten funding guidelines.

The qualified teachers will work in consultation and in partnership with existing early childhood teaching staff.

The early childhood language program will be delivered in line with the Victorian early years learning and development framework (VELYDF) which guides kindergarten programs in Victoria.

Children will continue to be encouraged to learn through:

  • exploration
  • problem solving
  • communication
  • creating and constructing ideas through play, art, music and stories.

Benefits of learning a language in the early years

Education experts have found that there are many benefits to children learning another language at young age, including:

  • increased literacy
  • cognitive flexibility
  • bolstering self-esteem and wellbeing
  • strengthened cultural identity.

Poster for services