Education first

Photo: Supplied.

By Alesha Capone

Educators at a Wyndham Vale childcare centre are the first in the nation to participate in a professional development program, which aims to boost children’s readiness for school and increase their talking interactions.
The centre, Adventurers, is using technology developed by the LENA charity in the United States, which is dedicated to accelerating language development in children from birth to age three, in order to improve their social and emotional health and to close opportunity gaps.
The Lena Grow technology sees children at the centre wear small recorders – also called talk pedometers – to monitor their verbal interactions, one day per week.
After the recordings have been processed using LENA software, teachers can participate in professional development coaching sessions to learn ways to increase the amount of talking they do with children.
This, in turn, helps with children’s brain development, as many youngsters spend a large part of their day in a childcare setting.
Adventurers is using the talk pedometers in their baby’s classroom, as well as their toddler room.
Adventurers owner Matthew Gillet said educators at the centre were enjoying the opportunity to improve the “language experience” for children under their care.
“We’re very excited to be using LENA Grow to ensure that Adventurers children will be ready for school,” Mr Gillet said.
“Language environment has an impact on vocabulary, reading ability, IQ and even the speed of a child’s brain – all important things for school readiness.”