SRF Program

  • Learning from Home

    VEYLDF Alignment

    ​Item uses these practice principles

    Reflective practice, Partnerships with families, High expectations for every child, Equity and diversity, Respectful relationships and responsive engagement, Integrated teaching and learning approaches.

    ​Item responds to these sub-outcomes

    Children interact verbally and non-verbally with others for a range of purposes, Children express ideas and make meaning using a range of media, Children engage with a range of texts and get meaning from these texts, Children begin to understand how symbols and pattern systems work, Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking, Children become strong in their social, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, Children take increasing responsibility for their own health and physical wellbeing.

    Description

    In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, services currently receiving School Readiness Funding will be able to use up to 25% or up to $5,000 (whichever is higher) of their existing School Readiness Funding in 2020 to support children and families to engage in home learning.

    Services not currently receiving School Readiness Funding will receive a one-off payment of $500 to support children and families to engage in home learning.

    This is intended to support children who are not attending their usual kindergarten program due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

    Learning from Home support developed and provided to families should recognise and champion parents/carers as a child's first educator. They should also consider the needs and capabilities of individual families and prioritise activities that strengthen and enhance the relationship between parents/carers and children.

    Learning from Home can include programs and supports that:

    • provide guidance for families to continue their child's learning from home
    • assist families to set-up and follow a daily routine
    • provide access to online learning supports
    • provide access to physical learning resources.

    A home learning program that incorporates all of the above can have positive impacts on children's development and wellbeing during times of upheaval.

    The Learning from Home item can also be used to allocate School Readiness Funding for backfill/additional educator hours required to set up and implement Learning from Home as well as the cost of accessing professional learning related to the remote delivery of programs.

    Goodstart@Home

    Services can access and implement the Goodstart@Home resources, providing educators and families with access to a range of age-appropriate play-based learning activities as well as a number of resources to support effective home learning, including:

    • Goodstart@Home Online Learning Hub: an online resource, including a collection of over 150 evidence-based activities, for families to support their child's learning and development at home.
    • Learn, Explore, Grow - Fun and Enriching Experiences for Children and Families: a booklet containing around 100 evidence-based learning activities and experiences for children from birth to 5 years.
    • Learn, Explore, Grow - Preparing Children for School: a booklet containing 48 learning experiences covering the main curriculum areas including Literacy, Mathematics, STEM and Social and Emotional Development to prepare children for starting school.
    • Goodstart Behaviour Support Kit: a support kit for parents/carers containing resources designed to support behaviour management and communication with children in the home setting.

    Detailed Costs

    • Goodstart@Home Online Learning Hub annual subscription: $10 per family (excl. GST)
    • Learn, Explore, Grow - Fun and Enriching Experiences for Children and Families: $19.95 per book (excl. GST) which includes a single use digital access key to the online learning hub
    • Learn, Explore, Grow - Preparing Children for School: $19.95 per book (excl. GST) which includes a single use digital access key to the online learning hub
    • Goodstart Behaviour Support Kit: $25 (excl. GST) per Family Behaviour kit

    Implementation Considerations

    ​Target population

    children enrolled in funded kindergarten programs that receive School Readiness Funding and their parents, carers and families.

    Program/practice descriptions and details

    Educators can use School Readiness Funding to develop and support home learning for children and families who are not currently attending their usual kindergarten program in person.

    Educators can also access professional learning to support their skills and capability to develop and implement remote learning practices.

    Learning from home will look different across families and services. Whatever approach is taken, services should aim to develop open communication channels, and leverage the existing established with families to support children's learning continuity.

    Implementation considerations

    Services should consider how home-learning support can enhance:

    • connections with families
    • children's continuity of learning
    • positive parenting and the home learning environment
    • keeping children socially connected

    Services should consider how technology can support the above, which may include supporting families to share photos and video messages and connect from their home with educators and other children and families.

    Note that School Readiness Funding should not be used to purchase information technology equipment, for example laptops or tablets, for the kindergarten service or for families. It should also not be used to pay for internet access and the purchase of wireless "dongles" for the service or for families.

    Services may wish to use School Readiness Funding to provide a pack of learning resources for families that contains items such as pencils/crayons, coloured paper, craft supplies, playdough or playdough recipes etc. The funding under this item may also be used to print hardcopy resources for families who may not otherwise be able to access learning resources.

    Program adaptability

    Services should consider the needs of the children and families at their services and how each individual family may benefit from Learning from Home, noting that some parents and carers may need more support to implement home-learning than others. For example, parents/carers with English as a second language, low levels of literacy or a learning disability.

    Services should consider that some families may have limited access to online-based resources and/or information/technology equipment.

    It is also important to consider the role of screen-based activities for children, and the expert advice of limiting this to one hour a day. Wherever possible, services should support active rather than passive screen-based activities.

    Staffing

    This item could be used to fund additional hours for educators, or a family support worker, to make contact and provide tailored support to families to assist in implementing Learning from Home programs. Services should therefore consider the cost of backfill/additional educator hours when determining the cost of developing, distributing and implementing this resource. Backfill or additional educator hours directly related to the development and implementation of remote learning programs should be acquitted under this item.

    Strength of Evidence

    ​Not assessed