Funding boost to home-based early learning program

The Albanese Labor government will provide around $30 million per year over the next five-years to the home-based program that supports parents and carers to be their child’s first teacher.

Minister for Social Services Amanda Rishworth said the two-year Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) would be supported with commonwealth funding to continue to deliver the program and to undertake program reforms.

For the first time, the government would look to improve the service delivery experience for First Nations communities by exploring how HIPPY could be further delivered in language. The focus of HIPPY would also be shifted to children aged three and four for better program outcomes.

The current program is geared towards children aged four and five years.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence delivers HIPPY in 100 communities across Australia through sub-contracting arrangements, including 50 First Nations focused communities, targeting around 4,000 children across all sites each year.

One in five people who access HIPPY are Indigenous.

“The Albanese Labor government is committed to ensuring all children get access to quality early learning to set them up for healthier, brighter futures. It is important all Australian children, regardless of their family’s income or where they live have the best start in life,” Minister Rishworth said.

“HIPPY is a critical early intervention and prevention program that builds the confidence and skills of parents and carers to create a positive learning environment in the home and helps families transition their child into school.

“We will also be working to ensure more First Nations organisations are involved in delivering HIPPY and look at exploring delivering more services in language. This is in step with our goal to enhance the service delivery experience and relationship with government for First Nations people.”

Minister Rishworth said evaluation was the key to measuring the program’s success, including how children fare in areas such as literacy and numeracy after participating in HIPPY.

It is also important for government to enhance the service delivery experience with First Nations people.

“As part of this process we would look to include discussion with our New Zealand counterparts on their experience with adapting HIPPY for the Maori and Pacific Islander populations they service,” Minister Rishworth said.

Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney said there are more than 250 Indigenous languages in Australia, including 800 dialects. Improving how governments deliver programs and services to First Nations people would be key to transforming outcomes and relationships.

“HIPPY has a transformative impact on the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and parents – helping to give kids the best start at school.

“All children deserve the best possible start to their school years, and the expansion of the program will strengthen families and give them greater confidence.”

“The Albanese Labor Government is committed to implementing the Closing the Gap targets including seeing more Indigenous children gain access to early childhood education programs,” Ms Burney said.

To find out more about the HIPPY program visit