Growing Learners

Our Growing Learners program assists parents and their young children to learn together through play, and at the same time, assists parents to develop career pathways.

Growing Learners uses an evidence-based intergenerational approach to assist parents to boost their financial stability through employment and education, while supporting children aged three and younger to get on with other children, learn and prepare for school.

Children and parents take part in fun, group play sessions, held twice a week and led by a qualified facilitator. The sessions provide a high-quality early learning curriculum for children, build parents’ capacity to be their child’s first and most important teacher, and encourage social connections among the families that take part.

Meanwhile parents receive individual support to develop career pathways through employment, education, training and volunteer work. Read about Alison and Angela’s experience of Growing Learners.


Growing Learners is based at two locations: Melbourne’s outer north in Mernda, and in Fitzroy, near Melbourne’s CBD.


  • Group play sessions are held twice a week at the locations below.
  • Career support for parents is developed to suit each individual.

Who is eligible

  • Families with children aged three years and younger
  • Parents who would like support to develop their child’s early learning and their own career pathways.

Contact Us

48 Breadalbane Avenue,
Mernda, VIC 3754
Phone: (03) 8724 0104
or 0488 600 190 to contact Mernda

Connie Benn Centre,
160 Brunswick St, 
Fitzroy, VIC 3065
Phone: (03) 9426 1500
or 0437 514 140 to speak to Tonya

Taking an intergenerational approach: preparing children for school and parents for work

The intergenerational approach is based on extensive research on the effectiveness of specialised support for children between birth and starting school, and their families, for improving both children’s later school achievements and parents’ career achievements. The Brotherhood of St Laurence is piloting an intergenerational approach in Australia.

Peep Learning Together Program

The core content for our Growing Learners’ parent-child group sessions is the Peep Learning Together Program from Great Britain, for which the Brotherhood of St Laurence has acquired the licence. Practitioners can find out about being trained to offer the Peep Learning Together Program at the Brotherhood’s PeepLTP Training webpage.

The Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) acknowledges and understands its obligations under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and recognises that all children and young people have the right to be treated with respect and care, and to be safe from all forms of abuse. BSL has a zero tolerance towards child abuse.
Read the official statement signed by the Executive Director.

The Brotherhood recognises the harm that family violence causes and that freedom from violence is a basic human right.
We will support our staff, volunteers, clients and the community if they experience violence.

Find out more about the work of the Brotherhood
Australian Aboriginal flag, a yellow circle on two horizontal black and red stripes

The Brotherhood of St Laurence acknowledges and recognises the Traditional Owners of the land upon which we live and work, and we pay our respects to their Elders both past and present.

Torres Strait Islander flag, an icon of a traditional headdress on blue, black and green stripes