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 6-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.

Click here for our IDEA Pathway Flyer (English)

Click Here For Community Language Flyer explaining Bicultural Support

Playgroups 2020 Update:

Due to the success of the project in 2019, the Start Strong IDEA Pathways Playgroups will continue running 6 week programs!

The team have targeted four cultural and language specific communities for playgroups this year, despite interruptions from COVID-19. These communities were:
– Iraqi Arabic-speaking communities in Liverpool and surrounding areas
– Urdu-speaking communities in Fairfield and surrounding areas
– Bosnian-speaking communities in Liverpool and surrounding areas
– Karen speaking communities in Fairfield and surrounding areas

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.

Click Here for current PlayGroup – Karen

Click here for our IDEA Pathway Playgroup calendar

Coming in 2021:

Vietnamese community in the Fairfield and surrounding areas – confirmed dates TBA

The team will also be outreaching to the:

  • African community in Merrylands and surrounding areas – not yet confirmed.
  • African/Somali community in Punchbowl and surrounding areas – not yet confirmed.
  • Mongolian community in Canterbury and surrounding areas – not yet confirmed.
  • Urdu community in Lakemba and surrounding areas – not yet confirmed.
  • Indian community in Lakemba and surrounding areas – not yet confirmed.

The team welcomes any contact from community leaders and /or referrals for parents and children to participate. 

Online Playgroup Videos

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, our playgroups were suspended from March – September 2020. In order to still reach out to and connect with our playgroup families and communities, our IDEA Pathway team put together these song and story videos in a variety of community languages. Please see links below or visit our Facebook page.


Arabic – “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”

Turkish – “Floppy”

Nepali – “The Lion & The Mouse”

Arabic – “The Ugly Duckling”

Arabic – “The Little Red Hen”

Mandarin – “The Chinese Zodiac Story”

Mandarin – “Three Little Pigs”

Music & Dance

Turkish – “Ali Baba’s Farm”

Nepali – “Johnny, Johnny, Yes Papa”

Turkish – “Five Little Monkeys”

Nepali – “Heads, Shoulder, Knees and Toes”

Assyrian – “Five Finger Song”

Arabic – “Beautiful Ducks”

Kurdish – “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”

Mandarin – “Two Tigers”

For more stories and songs in community languages, Follow this link to our Bicultural Support Facebook Page: Bicultural Support Facebook Page

Playgroups 2019 Update:

In 2019 the Start Strong IDEA Pathways team supported 10 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.