Events & News

Prime Minister Turnbull announces $4m funding for FROEBEL's Little Scientists

SBS News, Daniel Mara, 10 Feb 2016:

The Prime Minister and his Education Minister Christopher Pyne visited the Mother Teresa Early Learning Centre preschool in Canberra to announce new funding for children's education. The government says around 75 per cent of the fastest-growing industries now require skills in science, technology, engineering and maths - also known as STEM subjects. And Australia is lagging behind. Malcolm Turnbull says he wants to help nurture the next round of Australian Nobel laureates.

"If we are to be a successful nation of innovation we have to have a stronger commitment to science and technology and it has to start right across the board. This is a change for every age. But, above all, it needs to ensure that our youngest Australians, the pre-schoolers are becoming more numerate, more scientifically literate. What better way to do that than here in schools with programs like this."

To this end, Mr Turnbull announced four million dollars each for the 'Little Scientists' and 'Let's Count' training programs. Both programs provide young students with a new way of engaging with STEM subjects which the government says will help to underpin Australia's competitiveness in the future.

"Between them, over the three and four years these programs will reach another 350,000 young Australians like the three-year-olds and the four-year-olds you've seen learning to count with snakes and ladders and dominoes, learning to count with little towers of wooden blocks, blowing bubbles, learning how water is filtered. All of those things are exciting their imagination."

Mr Turnbull says the goal is to maintain Australia as a first-world, high-wage economy with a generous social welfare net.

Lisa O'Brien is the chief executive of the Smith Family, which runs the Let's Count program. She says the project was initially developed for children from disadvantaged communities starting school without proper early numeracy skills. Ms O'Brien says the federal funding will help the Smith Family reach more communities.

"This program, Let's Count works through early educators with parents so they have the skills to teach early numeracy at home, so measurement, counting and doing that through games and just bringing maths into the every day. This is highly targeted program supporting disadvantaged children and it's a highly effective program. We've evaluated it over three years and we really know we're making a difference."

Sibylle Seidler is project manager for the Little Scientists Foundation. The Little Scientists program focuses on children's schooling needs by addressing teachers and educators. Ms Seidler says it's also about inquiry-based learning, where the children ask the questions and teachers are there to guide them through.

"We are all about STEM education in the early years and it's really our pleasure to receive this funding. It will open up a lot of opportunities for us. It will open up opportunities to up-skill educators, because that's where we come from. For us, it's all about up-skilling educators and making them very confident to go into pre-schools. So we focus on three-to-six year olds. We go into their classrooms and their pre-schools and really work with the children and keep on nurturing their natural curiosity. That's Education Minister Christopher Pyne says the eight million dollars for the programs is part of the 112 million dollars committed to the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

Happy Birthday Kindergarten

FROEBEL and Little Scientists are featured in the Winter Edition of the Rattler Magazine. Camille Howard uncovers the story of FROEBEL's arrival and continued growth in the Australian early education and care landscape. Please click on the Rattler cover and have a read!

Bilingual Early Learningwith Professor Ingrid Piller and Erhard Seifert

We would like to invite you to a lecture on “Bilingual Early Learning”, with Professor Ingrid Piller of Macquarie University, to learn more about bilingual education in the early years and to discuss your experiences & questions. Her lecture will be followed by a short introduction by school principal Erhard Seifert to the offerings of the German International School Sydney, one option for your child to continue with learning German in Sydney after leaving FROEBEL.

Ingrid Piller is Professor of Applied Linguistics at Macquarie University, Sydney. Over the course of her international career, she has also held appointments at universities in Germany, Switzerland, UAE and USA. Ingrid's research expertise is in Intercultural Communication, the Sociolinguistics of Language Learning and Multilingualism, and Bilingual Education. She is very passionate about the effects of bi- or multilingualism on young children and bilingual education. And given that she is German herself, she has a soft spot for our bilingual concept!

Erhard Seifert, Principal of the German International School Sydney (GISS) will talk about the bilingual approach of the school in Terrey Hills, introduce you to the schools facilities and offerings (including the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program). Since January 2015, the school operates under the NSW school calendar year and also offers school bus shuttle services to/from Terrey Hills.

Please join us on Wednesday, 25 February 2015, from 6.30pm – 8.00pm at Rydges North Sydney, 54 McLaren Street, North Sydney (for directions, please click here).

Please RSVP by Friday, 20 February 2015 to support@froebel.com.au and let us know how many people will attend.

This event is free of charge. Adults only. 

Professor Ingrid Piller
Erhard Seifert

German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel to meet with FROEBEL Australia and the ‘Little Scientists’ initiative in Sydney

AAP Press Release, 14/11/2014:

Fostering the next generation of responsible global citizens and innovators – that is the mutual goal of FROEBEL Australia and the ‘Little Scientists’ initiative who have been selected to present their bilateral work in the Australian early childhood sector to German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel at the Business Reception of the German-Australian Chamber of Industry and Commerce in Sydney on 17 November 2014.

FROEBEL Australia is a premium, not-for-profit provider of bilingual long day care services, offering excellence in early childhood education and care, as well as unique bilingual early learning programs for children from 6 weeks to 6 years of age. The curriculum encourages children’s autonomy, self-confidence and self-esteem. FROEBEL’s philosophy is rooted in the progressive ideas of Friedrich Fröbel, the renowned educator who developed the Kindergarten concept 175 years ago. FROEBEL Australia has been operating two bilingual early learning centres in Sydney since 2009, and opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art centre in Melbourne in October 2014.

Since 2013, FROEBEL Australia has been partnering with the “Little Scientists’ House Foundation” in Germany to bring their innovative, best practice science program for children from 3-6 years of age to Australia. The ‘Little Scientists’ program has been developed in Germany in 2006 and encourages teachers and educators to integrate STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects into their curriculum. By now, the initiative has reached more than 1 Million children in Germany alone, and more than 26,500 education and care services benefit from the program. FROEBEL and the ‘Little Scientists’ initiative make the program available to approximately 350 education and care services during the initial national roll-out phase, and is aiming to substantially extend its reach through local network partners across Australia.

FROEBEL and the ‘Little Scientists’ are proud and grateful that German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel expressed her interest in their important work in the early childhood sector and that she will make time to meet with Managing Director, Olde Lorenzen, and Project Manager, Christine Schneyer during her short visit to Sydney. 

Christine Schneyer (Little Scientists) and Olde Lorenzen (FROEBEL Australia) with Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel in Sydney