12 families, local to the Latrobe region, successfully graduated from the HIPPY Latrobe program in 2020.
HIPPY (the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters) is an in-home early childhood education and parenting program for children aged four to five.
The program is free to participants, and enables disadvantaged families to realise their aspiration for themselves and their children. Each year HIPPY employs parents as tutors; supporting critical employment and learning pathways for local people into jobs. HIPPY Latrobe is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander focused program and prioritises the community access to the program.
Anglicare Victoria in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence has been proudly delivering HIPPY in Latrobe since 2014. During this time 16 local community members have been employed and trained as tutors to deliver the program and more than 150 children/families. This year 12 children and their families are successfully graduating from their two-year HIPPY journey.
Bobbie Naidu is grandmother and tutor to granddaughter Kuini Dela Merced, who was part of the graduating HIPPY class on Friday. Bobbie said that her training with HIPPY has given her the confidence to work with people in her community.
“Being a tutor has pushed me outside my comfort zone, I am now studying a Cert 4 in community services which is something I never thought I would do.
“Thanks to HIPPY I have learnt a new way to encourage my granddaughter with her learning and I have definitely learnt with her throughout the journey. I am so proud to see her graduate today.”
After the challenges of 2020, this graduation is an important celebration of the achievements by children and their families, said Michelle Taranto, HIPPY Program Manager at Anglicare Victoria.
“Every child, every parent and every tutor who is part of Latrobe HIPPY has worked incredibly hard to get to graduation, and that should be celebrated,” said Ms Taranto.
“While COVID-19 has been a real challenge, the work our families, children and tutors have put in is testament to all they have accomplished and will continue to do so.
“We know that each of the 12 children in the 2020 graduation class has a head start at school, with families actively engaged with their education, and ready to shine.”
HIPPY Latrobe is seeking expressions of interest from interested families to enrol in the program for 2021.
Families that have children who are aged four can contact HIPPY Coordinator, Eliza Goyne on 5135 9555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to express interest in enrolling in the program next year.
HIPPY Graduation 1: Bobbie Naidu and granddaughter Kuini Dela Merced
HIPPY Graduation 2: HIPPY Graduate Tallara Overall
HIPPY Graduation 3: HIPPY Graduates (L-R) Michelle Briggs and Milly Briggs