‘Last chance’: Joyce calls on preschools to apply for new languages program

20 Feb 2017


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


Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce 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,” Mr Joyce 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 Coalition 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.  Communities from disadvantaged areas will not miss out, with the Government providing funding for 1000 preschools ($500 each) to purchase devices,” Minister Birmingham said.


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


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


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