Early Language and Literacy


Our Early Language and Literacy program is a component of our Education Volunteers program specifically focused on early years and school readiness.

Launched in 2016, it was developed in collaboration with Deakin University and draws on latest research on how best to support young children’s language and literacy development in disadvantaged communities.

We partner with early years services (playgroups, family centres and kindergartens) where our Education Volunteers trained in the ELL program promote the children’s school readiness and oral language and literacy development.

All volunteers commit to spend at least two hours every week at the same early years service for at least six months.

The volunteers impact children by increasing:

  • the amount of time they spend in conversation
  • the amount of time they are engaged in reading
  • their sense of well being and self-esteem
  • their social skills through relationship building
  • their early listening skills (e.g. concentration, sitting still, turn taking)
  • their spoken language through use and exposure to conversations with a range of adults

This program builds on the success of our ‘Play, Learn’ Read’ and ‘Talking the Talk’ programs, and combines these targeted approaches into one consolidated program.


For a list of all our current partner schools and early years services, go here.

“Many students here are from migrant backgrounds, so English language development is critical to them. When I see their faces as they learn, I know I have made a difference to their lives.”

- Bernie Warner, Education Volunteer.

“The Ardoch volunteer visits the children at the same time every week and reads, talks and plays with them. This has helped the children build a strong, positive relationship with her, where they see her as a steady role model in their lives.”

- Cara Mason, Carer, Lentara UnitingCare Cooke Court Child Care Centre.

Meet some of our Education Volunteers at early years services: Debra Price and Bernie Warner.


You can become an Education Volunteer with Ardoch. For more information, visit our individual volunteering page.

Or you can help us recruit, train and support other Education Volunteers by making a donation to Ardoch.

If you are an Early Years Service wanting to partner with us, please visit here.

For more information about the Early Language and Literacy program, please contact our Programs Coordinators, Education Volunteers and Training on 03 9537 2414 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For more information on our Literacy Support programs, visit here.