Brotherhood looks forward to working with local organisations to support families

6 August 2013

The Brotherhood of St Laurence welcomes the Federal Government's opening of the Expression of Interest Process for the expansion of the Home Interaction Program for Parents and Youngsters (HIPPY) in 2014.

HIPPY is a two-year, home-based parenting and early childhood enrichment program that engages home tutors from local communities to work with parents to prepare children for school. The program also offers some parents pathways to employment and community leadership.

Following the recent announcement by the Federal Government of 25 new locations for the program, the Brotherhood is now seeking Expressions of Interest from local organisations to run the program in each of those communities from 2014. The focus of the program in these additional communities will be on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

"HIPPY supports parents to get their kids ready to learn at school, and the independent evaluation of the program has shown that it can be highly effective for Indigenous families particularly when we work closely with local communities," said Executive Director Tony Nicholson.

"The selection of these 25 communities was based on a number of factors including the demand for early childhood programs for 0-4 year-olds from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds, and the presence of strong local organisations able to deliver the program.

"An organisation to run HIPPY in each of these local communities will be selected by the end of September, to allow time for recruitment and training of staff and tutors before enrolment of children in the two year program in early 2014.

"The Brotherhood is looking forward to building strong partnerships with these organisations to ensure that the program meets the particular needs of children and parents in each of these communities," said Mr Nicholson.

The Expression of Interest process is open until 30 August 2013.

The 25 new communities are:

New South Wales
Broken Hill
Raymond Terrace/Port Stephens

Northern Territory

East Gippsland
La Trobe Gippsland
Hervey Bay
Palm Island
Upper Ross

South Australia
Murray Bridge
City of Onkaparinga (Aldinga Beach/Christie Downs/Morphett Vale/Hackham West/Huntfield Heights/Noarlunga Downs)

Western Australia
City of Armadale
City of Gosnells
East Kimberley