How do you spell bird? Effective parent programs to enhance 4-6 year old children's literacy development
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This research examined the effectiveness of parent programs designed for families to support the literacy learning of their 4-6 year old children. The project began with a literature review analysing six established, effective parent programs that have been reported in the international and national research literature. An analysis of what made each of the programs effective entailed an analysis of the program's target population, the project inputs and activities and the initial, immediate and long term outcomes. To explore further what local parents and families view as effective parent programs for 4-6 year old children the research explored individual site-specific parent programs in operation in South Australian childcare centres, preschools and schools in a range of diverse socioeconomic and geographic sites. Parents and teachers engaged in focus groups to describe ways the schools and centres sustain links between home and school learning. To assess the elements of two existing parent programs to support children's early literacy development, parents and teachers participated in several focus groups. The two programs were the parent component of The Abecedarian Program (2001, 1979) developed in the United States and the South Australian Early Childhood Literacy Includes Parents Staff and Education ECLIPSE program (1997) developed by the South Australian Department of Education and Children's Services (DECS).