- Initiative to build a strong sense of pride in Aboriginal culture and help close the gap in early education
- Almost a million copies of the English version of Baby Ways have been distributed State-wide since 2004
- The Better Beginnings Family Literacy Program reaches 97 per cent of Western Australian families
An award winning early years literacy program has been expanded to include the Noongar language, with the launch of the first dual language Baby Ways book.
Maawit Mart/Baby Ways will be given to Aboriginal families living on Noongar land and aims to help narrow the gap between literacy rates for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children.
The Baby Ways book is an engaging and fun-to-read book that features Western Australian babies sitting, bathing, reading and playing. It is included in the Better Beginnings pack that is presented to all new families in Western Australia at birth as part of a wider program that encourages parents to read to their children.
Supported by Rio Tinto and delivered in partnership with local public libraries and community health workers, the program has been boosted by election commitments to expand the program in the Kimberley and Pilbara regions and a new grants program for public libraries and community groups.
Comments attributed to Culture and the Arts Minister David Templeman:
"Literacy is a bedrock for future success, which is why Better Beginnings is such an important program.
"Maawit Mart/Baby Ways is a great way for Noongar families to celebrate and promote their language with their babies and toddlers.
"I encourage all families and carers to read, talk, sing, write and play with their child, every day."
Comments attributed to Aboriginal Affairs Minister Tony Buti:
"I am delighted to hear that this wonderful book has been translated into Noongar. It is so important for children to see their culture in active form around them, it helps them maintain and grow those strong links to their cultural heritage, while also improving literacy.
"The Better Beginnings Family Literacy program is award winning and this expansion of the program will ensure that even more children and families are introduced to reading at a young age."
Minister's office - 6552 5400