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Let’s Count: A Head Start For Victorian Kids

19 April 2016

Victorian pre-schoolers will have their maths skills boosted, with a $542,000 investment by the Andrews Labor Government in the Let's Count program, developed by The Smith Family.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos today joined The Smith Family’s Victorian General Manager Anton Leschen at the Coolaroo South Kindergarten to announce that Let’s Count will be rolled out to around 500 educators in funded kindergarten programs across the state over the next three years.

More than 14,000 pre-schoolers (aged three to five years old) and 5,500 families will benefit from the program.

Let’s Count brings out maths in everyday experiences. Children learn counting, measuring and patterns while doing age-appropriate activities including cooking, shopping and going to the park.

The funding covers the training of educators to support families build these vital skills at home.

Early education numeracy and maths ability is strongly linked to success at school and beyond. When children fall behind in maths early, they tend to stay behind.

The Government will soon invite expressions of interest from funded kindergarten programs to participate in Let’s Count in 2016. Priority will be given to kindergartens in areas where children and families will benefit most.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

"Children are learning from birth – and this is the case with maths too. We're proud to be investing and promoting early maths skills in Victoria's children."

“Investing in the early years is key to making Victoria the Education State.”

Quotes attributable to The Smith Family’s Victorian General Manager Anton Leschen

“Developing stronger early maths skills in young children and positive dispositions towards maths will set them up for success in later learning.”

“This funding recognises an innovative and effective program, developed by a not-for-profit working in partnership with Government, academics, educators, philanthropic and corporate partners to support children and families.”

Quote attributable to Member for Broadmeadows Frank McGuire MP

“This is a great program and a great outcome for the children and families of Broadmeadows.”

EARLY NUMERACY KEY FACTS AND STATS

  • Babies born with an inherent sense of 'number' can match a sequence of sounds with images with the same number of objects.
  • Children as young as six months may be able to reason using probabilities.
  • One in four prep students living in Australia's most disadvantaged communities do not have the numeracy skills needed for school.
  • Children's early knowledge of maths is a strong indicator of success in maths and achievement into high school.
  • Development of early maths skills can predict reading achievement better than early reading skills.

Reviewed 19 August 2020

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