Shine Bright is proud to announce that Helm Street Kindergarten has been successful in their application for a Bilingual program sponsored by the Department of Education. Out of over 70 applications received state wide, only 11 were chosen, and Helm Street Kindergarten is thrilled to be among the select few. This achievement enables the kindergarten to deliver an innovative Auslan (Australian Sign Language) and Karen language program from 2024 through to June 30, 2027.

CEO, Suzi Sordan expresses her enthusiasm, stating, “Shine Bright is very excited about this opportunity and looks forward to continuing to support our local communities.”

Educational Philosophy and Community Engagement

Shine Bright Helm Street Kindergarten’s motivation for delivering a language program is deeply rooted in community needs. With an increasing number of children and families requiring language support due to English not being their first language as well as children who have language and communication delays, the kindergarten is committed to responding to these needs. The program aligns with the Early Childhood Language Program by recognizing and embedding the value of different languages and cultures, connecting with the community, and benefiting children, especially those from multilingual backgrounds.

The kindergarten actively engages with families who are experiencing vulnerability and potentially are/likely disengaging within their community, including refugees, indigenous, CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) families, and others supported by various services. Through advocacy and participation in a Parliamentary Committee, Shine Bright Helm Street Kindergarten has collaborated with a Karen Interpreter to support enrolments and engagements in services for families. This inclusive approach extends to using visual cues, sign language, Podd communication, and social stories to communicate with children from diverse backgrounds.

“We want to continue our learning and develop programs that support our philosophy to be inclusive in our practice,” says Helm Street Kindergarten Beckie Parkinson. “Our space aims to respect and include children and families, acknowledging their culture and specific learning needs.”

The selected languages for delivery are Auslan, Karen, Dari, and Punjabi. Auslan aligns with the local Special Development School (SDS) in Bendigo, creating a seamless transition for children. It also supports children with communication challenges, benefiting both them and their families.

For more information, please contact:

Kate Pentreath
Early Years Admin and Marketing             
03 5443 1229

About Shine Bright Helm Street Kindergarten:

Helm Street Kindergarten is located in Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo, operating 5 days a week running two kindergarten programs for 3 and 4 year olds.

Helm Street Kindergarten Kangaroo Flat has been successful in their application for a bilingual program
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