Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta has called on local preschools and child care centres to sign up to the Turnbull Government’s popular early learning languages program before applications close on 26 February 2017.

Tens of thousands of preschoolers across the country are set to try their hand at languages this year as part of the Turnbull Government’s Early Learning Languages Australia (ELLA) program, which is open nationally for the first time.

Mr Vasta said children could learn Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese or Spanish as part of the program in 2017.

“We want to ensure children in Bonner aren’t left behind the 30,000 young Australians we expect will take part in the ELLA program this year, so I’d encourage our local preschools and child care centres to head to and sign up,” Mr Vasta said.

“We’ve seen how the ELLA languages program can have a positive impact on our children and so parents and families should get in touch with their preschool or child care service and ask them to sign up. We have a range of tools in place to help services roll out the ELLA program but they need to register by 26 February 2017.

“Learning a foreign language doesn’t just give children the gift of the gab, it can boost other vital skills like problem solving and their literacy in English that ultimately carry through to their performance at school.

“Even where young students may not continue into school with the language they learned in preschool, research indicates that they will enjoy real cognitive and developmental benefits from learning another language in their earliest years.

“ELLA is a play-based way for children to learn another language and open their mind. Following the program’s successful trials last year the Turnbull Government committed an additional $5.9 million to roll it out to any eligible preschool or child care centre that wants to take part.”  

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