The learning experiences of the early childhood years are recognised as vital to the continuing development of children throughout their school years. However, as budget pressures grow and the costs of formal child care continue to rise, reaching out and engaging with socio-economically disadvantaged children and their families remains a challenge. Recent research has highlighted the need for early childhood educators, researchers and policy makers working in early years leaning environments to engage more effectively in acknowledging and supporting the diverse languages, cultures and literacy practices of families in these settings. This paper reports on a study undertaken within a number of multilingual and multicultural supported playgroup sites in parts of Sydney, Australia. Drawing on a ethnographic approach, one of the main aims of the study was to explore ways of better supporting children, their mothers and carers to further develop children's abilities to make sense of a range of early literacies including oral, aural, visual, digital, print and critical modes of communication through the inclusion of linguistically and culturally appropriate resources in addition to traditional nursery rhymes, songs and activities.
|Keywords:||Early Literacies, Disadvantaged Families, Informal Settings, Multilingual and Multicultural|
Associate Professor, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Senior Researcher, Languages Academic Group, University of Technology, Sydney, NSW, Australia