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Early Learning is Fun

Young boy playing with toy

Berry Street’s Early Learning is Fun (ELF) program supports vulnerable parents to create nurturing relationships with their children. It uses a model of therapeutic intensive supported playgroups.

ELF encourages parents to connect with their children every day through reading, talking, singing and playing.

The ELF program welcomes diversity and acknowledges that every parent is trying their best.

How ELF Play and Learn Groups work

We run weekly ELF Play and Learn Groups for vulnerable and disadvantaged families with children 0 to 5 years old.

The play groups offer a safe and familiar environment for parents and children to play and learn together. The groups are run in Melbourne's northern suburbs and have a focus on:

  • parental participation
  • building nurturing relationships
  • improving children’s school readiness.

Eligibility

ELF Play and Learn Groups are open to parents or caregivers who:

  • have a child or children 0 to 5 years old
  • live in Lalor, Thomastown or Epping (City of Whittlesea) in Melbourne’s northern suburbs (Northern region).

Families who have the most urgent needs are prioritised.

Program outcomes

The ELF program aims to provide effective early intervention and create positive outcomes for vulnerable children and families. It can also support families to access early years services, such as child care and kindergarten.

Benefits include:

  • parents build their confidence and receive parenting support
  • children are supported to develop social, emotional and cognitive skills
  • positive changes in the home as a result of new skills and increased confidence.

Read the program evaluation by the Centre for Community Child Health

ELF books

ELF Learn and Play Groups developed a series of culturally appropriate early years books with leaders from the Sudanese, Afghan and Karen communities. The books offer practise at Reading Level 2.

View books

Contact us

To find out more about ELF and our play groups, please contact us on 03 9450 4700 or eaglemont@berrystreet.org.au.

Parents can call us to express their interest, or a Maternal and Child Health Nurse or other professional can speak to us on their behalf.