Families in Corio and Norlane can access long-term help to prepare their children for starting school, and to develop their love and confidence in learning in their first year. 

HIPPY – Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters – is a free, fun and flexible home-based learning program for parents and carers, who are guided to use playing with their child as a way of teaching them. Barwon Child, Youth & Family (BCYF) is the local provider of HIPPY in Geelong.

Families commit for two years, usually starting in the year before the child starts school. It continues during their first year at school, with activities that support what they are learning. HIPPY families receive free activity packs from five learning areas: Thinking and Exploring, Communication, Creativity, Social and Emotional, and Family and Community.

In the first year of HIPPY, the year before school begins, families learn skills to get their children ready for school. In the second year, parents learn more about supporting their children’s learning and development at school and at home. Families spend 10 to 15 minutes a day doing fun, educational activities with their children.

Each family is matched with a trained mentor who has already completed the program with their child. Mentors are also supported to work on their own professional goals throughout their two years in the role, as well as learning how to work in the Community Services sector.

HIPPY is run all over Australia and results show that children who have participated develop confidence, curiosity, a love of learning, persistence, determination, resilience and a belief in themselves. It is a program that fosters learning and positive relationships in the home that celebrate effort, persistence and connection.

A HIPPY parent recently shared: “HIPPY has opened my eyes to the possibilities to life, not only for my daughter’s but for myself as well. My two girls are more knowledgeable, capable and kinder people because I have been able to support them in the areas that truly matter. Patience. Persistence. Sharing and a love of learning.  They say HIPPY is a two-year program, but what I’ve learned will last me a life time and I can never thank HIPPY enough for that.” 

For more information, contact HIPPY Leader, Rob Evans on 0419-039-869 or via email: rob.evans@bcyf.org.au

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