Engaging families in their children's learning makes a positive difference to both adults and children. Connecting families to each other, and to a range of service providers in family friendly environments, also builds social capacity and enables the development of shared understandings about children's learning.
The Learning Together program is different for each location. Specific activities are developed by Learning Together managers in consultation with families in each location, to meet the individual needs of families and communities.
However, there are some consistent features such as the use of learning dispositions throughout all programs, including:
- the principles (PDF 2.4MB)
- the program model (PDF 99KB) that outlines the possible pathways for families within the program
- the curriculum framework: ribbons (PDF 132KB)
- co-construction: a model for working with families (PDF 246KB).
Adult and child engagement
The interaction between parents and their children is a major focus of the Learning Together playgroups. Learning Together managers support parent/child interactions by:
- working individually with families
- providing an environment and resources for interactions
- providing a framework for parents to observe their children's learning.
Adult learning and support
There are specific adult learning activities developed for parents based on their interests. This might include:
- parenting groups
- parent education courses
- enrolment in on-site South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE) studies (Murray Bridge, Enfield and Christie Downs)
- support to enrol in other adult education courses such as TAFE.
SACE at Learning Together (Word 45KB) describes the successes of re-connecting mothers to formal study.
Children's involvement in learning
Learning Together managers work with parents to plan for, and support, children's learning.
Literacy skills develop through sharing songs, rhymes, oral language, painting, drawing, writing, use of computers and sharing books.
Each Learning Together program has developed strong connections with interagency partners to enhance their work with parents. Families are more likely to seek advice and support if they have strong relationships with professionals.
There are a range of activities for families in collaboration with agencies such as Children, Youth and Women's Health Services, community health, hospitals, and the Department for Child Protection.
- facilitated playgroups
- parent study groups
- Circle of Security parenting groups
- Bringing Up Great Kids parenting groups
- healthy cooking groups
- library visits
- parent education groups.
An evaluation of the program in 2013 showed significant changes in involvement and relationships with families and children and the school where the program was embraced by senior staff. More detail about the study can be found in these reports:
Family Learning team
Phone: 8226 4293
Email: decd.familylearning [at] sa.gov.au