Early Years Support

Early Literacy Supported Playgroup

"The early years of a child’s life are critical on impacting on a range of outcomes right through life… if we want to improve outcomes in adult life then we have to start in early childhood." - Professor Frank Oberklaid, Foundation Director, Centre for Community Child Health, The Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne


Barriers to education impact very early in children’s lives so intervention and prevention programs should start as early as possible.

We know that children who start school with weak language, literacy and well being skills spend the rest of their school years trying to catch up, and many never do. According to the 2015 AEDC report, nearly one in three children in socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds are starting school developmentally vulnerable, thus starting their academic journey in deficit.


Early childhood2

We partner with early years services (playgroups, family centres and kindergartens) through our Early Language and Literacy Program. The program aims to improve the children’s school readiness and oral language and literacy development.

Our Early Language and Literacy program, launched in 2016, 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.

The program, delivered by trained volunteers working with individual or small groups of children, aims to impact children by increasing:

  • the amount of time they spend in conversation
  • the amount of time they are engaged in reading and writing activities
  • 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); and
  • their spoken language through use and exposure to conversations with a range of partners.

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

Where We Work

Ardoch currently provides this program to early years services in inner and north Melbourne, Melbourne’s western suburbs, Frankston, Dandenong and the northern suburbs of Geelong. For a list of all the early years services currently partnering with Ardoch, go here.

Get Involved

You can become an Early Language and Literacy volunteer with Ardoch. For more information, visit our individual volunteering page or contact our Programs Coordinators on 03 9537 2414 or at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Or you can help us recruit, train and support other Early Language and Literacy 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 on 03 9537 2414 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .