Did you know? Children from CALD backgrounds remain significantly unrepresented in early childhood services due to language barriers, parental worries about cultural appropriateness of services, the complexity of the system and limited support available in their home language.

To address these persistent barriers, we developed the Integrated Diversity Early Education Access (IDEA) Pathway, a FREE mobile 10-week playgroup program delivered in home-language facilitated by our Bicultural Support Workers to prepare children from CALD backgrounds for entry into Early Years Education and increase enrolment of these children in formal Early Educational Services.

The IDEA Pathway supports families from CALD backgrounds with:

  • an integrated FREE 6-week family-mentoring program delivered in home-language during playgroup 
  • assistance to families with their journey in gaining an understanding of formal early years education in Australia
  • enrolling their child into an approved Early Childhood Education program/service in their area
  • assisting with settling in to new service by accessing 10 hours FREE Bicultural Support upon enrolment to assist children, families and educators in the transition.
  • linking participating families with local ECE providers and building trust to facilitate positive dialogue
  • building the capacity of services to provide educational excellence to children from culturally diverse backgrounds.

Playgroups 2020 Update:

PLEASE NOTE: Playgroups currently running in Liverpool and Fairfield have been suspended until further notice due to Coronavirus risks (as at Wednesday 18/03/20).

Due to the success of the project in 2019, the Start Strong IDEA Pathways Playgroups will be expanded from 6 weeks to 10 weeks in 2020!

The team will be targeting various cultural and language specific communities for playgroups, such as Iraqi Arabic-speaking communities in Liverpool and surrounding areas, Urdu-speaking communities in Liverpool and surrounding areas.

The team will also be outreaching African communities in Punchbowl and surrounding areas and welcome any contact from community leaders and/or referrals for parents and children to participate.

If there are any other interested cultural or language-specific groups in areas across Sydney they can also get in touch with either Nadia or Semra from our Start Strong IDEA Pathways team via phone on (02) 9569 1288 or via email nadia.f@ecsc.org.au or semra.c@ecsc.org.au.

Playgroups 2019 Update:

In 2019 the Start Strong IDEA Pathways team supported 12 language-specific Playgroups & Mentoring Sessions.

The communities who received this valuable support included: Turkish, Rohingyan/Burmese, Bengali, Arabic, Yazidi/Kurmanji, Farsi, Afghani and Nepalese communities.

Over 100 children and their parents were supported in the language-specific playgroups and mentoring sessions and 26 were successfully enrolled into local ECE services.

Click here to find our Playgroup Calendar

Click here to download our IDEA Pathway Flyers