More early years literacy resources are needed for South Australian children, with The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC), reporting almost a quarter of children are starting school developmentally vulnerable. The AEDC 2021 National Report, found that developmental vulnerability amongst South Australian children increased to 23.8% in 2021 up from 22.8% in 2009, this is in contrast to the 2021 national average of 22%.
Raising Literacy Australia CEO, Elizabeth Davis explains there is an urgent need for funding to enable the organisation to deliver more resources to children from birth to age 5.
“We know that the first five years of a child’s brain development sets them up for life. Children with poor literacy are likely to face a future of greatly reduced employment opportunities, a lower standard of living, poorer physical and mental health, and greater behavioural problems,” states Davis.
Davis continues, “The evidence is clear more resources are needed for South Australian children, to reverse the upward trend of developmentally vulnerable children starting school and the lifelong impacts this developmental vulnerability presents. RLA’s funding campaign will help meet this need, by continuing to deliver and expand all of the organisations existing early literacy programs including, building home libraries, universal pre-school and baby programs.”
Raising Literacy Australia supported by Kate Ellis
Advocate for early literacy development, Kate Ellis is throwing her support behind RLA’s campaign and is championing for more funding from both the community and corporate sectors for all of RLA’s programs.
“RLA’s core ethos read, sing, talk and play with your children every day is absolutely critical in enabling young children to meet key developmental milestones in the formative years, birth to age 5. To reverse the upward trend of developmentally vulnerable children starting school and entering out-of-home care, more needs to be done. More resources need to be made available for parents and care givers.” states Ellis.
“Developmental vulnerability amongst South Australian children has now spread across all socioeconomic levels and geographic areas. This makes quality early years services, access to resources and education critically important for all South Australian children. RLA can deliver these resources with more funding,” adds Ellis
More vulnerable children at a disadvantage
The number of vulnerable children in out of home care is also on the rise. In 2020, 4,100 South Australian children were in out of home care, up from 3,800 in 2019; a situation which potentially leads to thousands of young children without access to books, resources and learning tools, putting them at a great disadvantage.
Through RLA’s latest campaign, funding will directly benefit these vulnerable children by expanding and supporting one of the organisations existing early literacy programs, Read to Me, which has delivered over 103,000 books to children in out-of-home care since its inception in 2015.
RLA is calling on the South Australian community to pledge their support towards books, resources and activities to aid the critical early literacy development of young children, by making a tax-deductable donation to Raising Literacy Australia.
For further information on Raising Literacy Australia: