Benefits of Aust kids' in-home learning

·1-min read

A home-based early childhood learning program for kids in low-income households has boosted school readiness, parental engagement and female job readiness, studies have demonstrated.

The Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters ("HIPPY") supports parents to deliver a 60-week learning curriculum from their child's fourth birthday which is intended to prepare them for school.

It involves 15 minutes per day of educational activities at home, with tutors visiting weekly or fortnightly to discuss progress. The program is free.

Two studies conducted by the Brotherhood of St Laurence, the not-for-profit organisation which manages the program, on Thursday found it had wide-ranging social benefits for children, parents and tutors alike.

"(The program) means better school readiness, with most kids who started out behind their peers finishing the program with literacy and numeracy skills above the Australian average," Brotherhood of St Laurence researcher and study co-author Shelley Mallett said in a statement.

"Parents come through (the program) more confident and engaged in their child's education while our tutors receive critical job training."

The studies on the program, which operates across 100 Australian sites, will be outlined by Social Services Minister Anne Ruston on Thursday.