Pledge for PEEP
Early learning and literacy for Benalla’s youngest residents will be given a big boost if the Nationals are elected to government in November.
State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan visited Benalla on Friday to announce that if elected the Nationals will provide $1 million to Benalla’s Tomorrow Today Foundation to support the successful Parents’ Early Education Partnership (PEEP) program over the next four years.
Ms Ryan said she was excited to back Tomorrow Today in their work supporting families from Benalla and surrounds in nurturing early education outcomes for young families and creating a stronger, more resilient community.
‘‘Anyone who knows Tomorrow Today knows what fantastic work they do in Benalla,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘One of the most successful and important programs Tomorrow Today offers is the Parents’ Early Education Partnership program, which is run for children up to the age of five and their parents.
‘‘Sessions involve singing, enjoying rhymes, reading stories and having fun with activities that teach them different skills and include special ‘talk time’ where parents explore topics related to child development and parenting.
‘‘The PEEP program also links families into local services and groups, and the wider community, including information and advice sessions and regular social outings to local destinations like the lib- rary, aquatic centre and gardens.’’
Ms Ryan said the support would lift early education in Benalla, which had been identified as one of 20 priority local government areas where work was needed to make sure kids were ready to start primary school.
‘‘The rate of vulnerability in Benalla is double that of the state average,’’ Ms Ryan said.
‘‘Benalla’s rate of vulnerability is 20 per cent, compared to the state average of 9.9 per cent. Where you live should not determine your future.
‘‘The Nationals understand the importance of giving the littlest people in our community the best opportunities from day one, so they can thrive and prepare for life and learning.
‘‘The PEEP program encourages children to explore, play, problem solve, read, sing and socialise in a group environment and it creates support networks for parents within their communities.
‘‘I am incredibly proud to be able to support this program if we are elected to government.’’
The PEEP program will be funded from the Liberal Nationals’ $16 million early language and literacy grants program.
Grant promise: State Member for Euroa Steph Ryan joined Liberal Victorian Legislative Council candidate Brad Hearn in Benalla on Friday to announce that if the Coalition is elected in November it will support Tomorrow Today’s PEEP program with a $1 million grant.