The Abecedarian Approach places a priority on children's language acquisition, because language is a proven core of early learning and school readiness.
Busy Butterflies Education and Care Service has recently began implementing this approach, known as '3a'.
Directors Sharon and Andrew Richards and their team all share strong personal philosophies on building healthy, positive relationships with children and their families.
The 3a approach helps educators to build these strong bonds, at the same time supporting children's literacy skills.
There are four key elements of 3a:
- Language as a Priority,
- Learning Games
- Conversational Reading
- Enriched Caregiving
Dedicated educators at Busy Butterflies are using 3a strategies to assist children along with encouraging families to take time with their child to read a book.
Using Conversational Reading is a strategy the Busy Butterflies team has just introduced to build good family relationships while increasing children's literacy skills.
Educators in Family Day Care have many opportunities to implement and support this strategy due to the small group settings and low children to educator ratios of 1-4.
How to start implementing Conversational Reading:
- Choose a book (any book)
- Sit with your child one on one
- Use the 3a strategy: 1 - SEE. See, here is a cat. 2 - SHOW. Show me the cat. 3 - SAY. What is the animal called?
You do not have to read the book from cover to cover - let your child guide you, talk about the pictures or what the book is about.
It is about going back and forth like a conversation with the child playing an active role.
This strategy can even be implemented from the birth of your baby.
Read to your baby daily, talk to you baby about the book and it is never to late to start reading and sharing books and having conversations with your child.
Lucinda Nicker, educator and owner of Lou's Nest Family Day Care at Cedar Grove loves her one-on-one conversational reading time with the children in her care.
She supports her families in using and implementing the Conversational Reading strategies
Mum Tenielle Lynham said she looks forward to her 10 minutes of quality time with daughter Ivy using the Conversational Reading strategies and Ivy loves reading to her mum.
It is hoped that more families will take the time to read, if only for 10 minutes every day, to assist in building the literacy skills of their children in preparation for school and to build stronger relationships.