Free school readiness program for Nambucca Valley families

A selection of the Hippy Resources Packages given to parents.

 

THE Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (Hippy) is a two-year, home-based early childhood learning and parenting program designed to empower parents and carers as their children’s first teacher.

Hippy helps children make a successful transition to school and beyond.

The program in Australia is federally funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS), with 100 sites across Australia.

News Of The Area spoke with Nadia Farah, Hippy coordinator for the Nambucca Valley about service delivery in the region.

Nadia said Hippy is a two-year program for parents of children pre-kinder to first year school.

“Children and parents are visited in their home with resource packs designed to empower parents in getting their children school ready.

“Many parents and children get very anxious about entering school, Hippy provides problem solving skills to meet those anxieties.”

Hippy also offers a chance for parents to train as Hippy tutors and provides support for parents to access programs for upskilling.

Each year Hippy has two placements for those parents interested in work as Hippy tutors.

These placements are taken from the current parent group already registered in the program.

Tutors will be trained to deliver the program to other families in the group, and provide upskilling for employment opportunities in the future.

“I love the sense of achievement parents get from being tutors in the program, self-esteem, acknowledging the chance to propel themselves into a career.”

Hippy works with children on the spectrum, specialists, and liaise with parents and other service referrals.

The program has outcomes that stretch beyond the family unit and into the community.

Hippy delivers programs to the greater educational community, kindergartens, schools and community groups.

“I get amazing positive feedback from kindergartens, and schools.

“Local educators tell me they can spot Hippy kids as they are more school ready.”

Families taking part in the program learn more about supporting their children’s learning skills and getting them ready for school and beyond.

Hippy is a free service helping parents to be their child’s first teacher, building self-esteem and confidence as a family unit.

Part of Hippy’s vision is to build stronger links to the community.

“As coordinator I build links with the community we’re working within.

“The resource boxes we deliver to each family are made by the Nambucca Valley Men’s Shed.”

Covid regulations have reduced some areas of program delivery.

“I didn’t want to leave our families without support during Covid so we started delivering activity packages to our parents by mail.”

If you would like more information about supporting your pre-kinder to first year school aged child and live in the Nambucca Valley you can contact Nadia Farrah on 0457 160 138 or email [email protected].

 

By Karen GRIBBIN

 

Engaging with the greater community. Resource boxes made by Nambucca Valley Men’s Shed.

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