Families as First Teachers Records Regional Success in 2023

NT Government

Education is the most important factor in a child’s life, and is key to improving outcomes right across the Territory.

Over the past 12 months the Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program has recorded its most successful year on record, with hundreds more children participating in the program and new classrooms opening.

In 2019 there were 307 children participating in programs across the Barkly region alone, now increasing to 530 children in 2023. As such, the Territory Labor Government has opened two new FaFT sites in the Barkly, increasing the amount of programs offered to eight.

In the Central Region there were 263 children participating in FaFT programs throughout 2019, this has soared to 379 in 2023 across four FaFT sites and five Stay, Play and Learn Programs.

The FaFT program was first launched in 2009 with 21 sites educating children and families across communities in the NT, since that time FaFT has grown considerably due to its success, now operating in 55 locations.

52 per cent of the workforce employed in FaFT programs across the Northern Territory are Aboriginal employees.

At its core, FaFT focuses on quality child-centred early learning, family support, parent capacity building and community engagement.

It develops place-based programs to engage families and communities and builds the parents capacity to guide their children to the best start in life.

The aim of FaFT is to improve the lifelong education, health and wellbeing outcomes for young Northern Territory children and their families.

Both the Barkley and Central regions have realised great success in promoting families to attend other FaFT sites when they are visiting other communities or in Tennant Creek or Alice Springs.

Quote attributable to Chief Minister, Eva Lawler:

“Enhancing a child’s education before its schooling years is vital to improving overall outcomes long into the future.

“FaFT embraces tailored teaching and learning strategies from the Abecedarian Approach Australia, which have a direct focus on a child’s development through conversational reading, learning games, enriched caregiving and language priority.

“FaFT’s successes doesn’t start and end at the classroom, a critical aspect is understanding parents play a pivotal role as their child’s first teacher, and it is this aspect and parental inclusion which will create improved generational outcomes”.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, Mark Monaghan:

“Delivering quality early learning for children and parent support programs across our regions provides the basis for a good start to life.

“The FaFT programs focuses on activities that have an emphasis both on child and adult learning, which is why we see more families and more communities’ involved each year.

“The results announced today are a testament to the hard work of the Territory Labor Government, the Department of Education and all school staff, together we will change lives through the FaFT program.”

Northern Territory Government

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