Children from refugee backgrounds living in the Bankstown area will benefit from a new Anglicare program from the 13 October.
The Early Learning Through Play (ELTP) program provides play-based educational experiences to children aged 3 to 5 years old from refugee and migrant families to prepare them for the Australian school system.
“There will be free play, art and craft, reading, singing and other group activities for the kids all specifically designed to support the development and wellbeing of children from refugee and migrant backgrounds and help prepare them for school,” explains Roberta Perkins, Anglicare’s ELTP coordinator.
“We hope to create a safe environment to support the entire family as well. Not only does it provide an opportunity for them to improve their English skills, we can also give them practical support, and referrals to other services if needed. Importantly, we hope to provide a sense of belonging as they settle in Australia.
“With up to 1 in 5 of the current intake of refugees expected to be children under five, ELTP will have much to offer these families.”
The Bankstown Anglican Church is Anglicare’s first ELTP Parish group with others anticipated to start next year.
Each group will support up to 20 preschool aged children and their families. ELTP Parish is part of Anglicare’s Syrian Refugee Response project.
“Refugees are among the most vulnerable people in our community and this is one way, an effective and practical way, to reach out to them with the love of Christ,” says Roberta.
“Access to education is one of the many disruptions commonly experienced by refugees. Children also experience disruptions to their normal development because of trauma and displacement. Early education maximises their potential and provides a foundation for future learning success.”
The new program starts on Thursday, 13 October and runs from 9:30am to 11:30am at Bankstown Anglican Church, 461 Chapel Street.
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