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By Derek Schlennstedt

 Pre-schoolers and their families in Monbulk can improve their maths skills through a new early years’ program.

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP, announced on 4 July that early childhood educators at Lancaster, Monbulk and Sassafras Pre-school’s will participate in Let’s Count training, where they will learn practical tips and get access to best-practice resources to help them develop children’s maths skills.

“Maths is an essential foundation for learning and this is about making it fun for Monbulk children – a great step in getting them ready for school,” Mr Merlino said.

Let’s Count helps early years’ educators engage families and their children in counting, measuring and identifying patterns.

The program also helps parents and carers to introduce maths to children in a fun, simple way that can be incorporated into everyday life.

Educators from services all across Victoria – from Lilydale to Werribee, Ballarat to Horsham – will have access to this training in Semester 2.

About 500 educators in funded kindergartens will participate in the program over three years, and will help an estimated 14,000 pre-schoolers and their families.

Let’s Count was developed by Charles Sturt University Professor Bob Perry, Monash University Associate Professor Ann Gervasoni and The Smith Family to help children develop skills and a positive attitude towards maths before they begin primary school.

The knowledge and skills that children develop in the early years are crucial for later in life. In 2015, a longitudinal evaluation of the Let’s Count program showed it dramatically improved children’s maths skills, with children who participated in the program performing better across a range of mathematical tasks than children not involved in the program.

Monbulk families are also benefiting from the Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan to ensure kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

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