New app set to transform Victorian early childhood education and care

Technology Portfolio
Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips and Liberal candidate for Narre Warren North Amanda Stapledon today launched the pilot project of a unique new mobile app, which will improve the assessment and reporting of play and learning of young children.

Napthine Government building a smarter VictoriaSet to be tested in Victorian early childhood services, the new Early Childhood Assessment app is being developed with funding from the Victorian Coalition Government’s $12 million Victorian Government Technology Innovation Fund.

Once developed, the app will be freely available for all early childhood educators to use.When launching the app at Narre Warren North Kindergarten today Mr Rich-Phillips said the app has tremendous potential to support early childhood educators.

“The development of this app emphasises the opportunities that new technologies offer in supporting the wonderful work educators and families do to encourage and stimulate children’s learning,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

“Educators will now be able to work in a digital environment for observation and assessment instead of the traditional paper-based method, which will provide a quicker and more efficient way of documenting children’s learning and development outcomes.”

“The app is designed to improve the efficiency of observations and assessments and support educators in developing learning plans that can be better tailored to the individual needs of each child,” Mr Rich-Phillips said.

The $12 million Victorian Government Technology Innovation Fund was launched in December last year to support collaborative pilot projects and trials which transform the delivery of Government services and boost public sector productivity.It focuses on projects that harness industry capabilities and takes a staged approach to development and implementation.

The Fund delivers on key initiatives of Victoria's Technology Plan for the Future and the Victorian Government ICT Strategy.

The pilot of the Early Childhood Assessment app will see educators in kindergarten programs in the City of Casey use tablets to take notes, still and video images of early learners at learning through play.

It will allow staff to record and help assess traditional forms of play, as well as digital play.

The development of the app follows a successful proof-of-concept study undertaken in 2013 in the City of Casey.

Ms Stapledon said the local City of Casey area has played a key role in the development of the app and will continue to do so.“

This will generate useful data on the learning and development of children which can easily be shared with other educators as well as with parents.

Local children will be the first to experience the benefits of the app,” said Ms Stapledon.

The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (DEECD) will lead the project to develop and pilot the Early Childhood Assessment app in collaboration with the Australian Catholic University and kindergarten programs in the City of Casey.

Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell said the app was an exciting development for early childhood educators’ observations and assessments.“

The app will streamline the process of assessment and reporting for each child and allow educators to assess children directly against the outcomes of the early learning framework digitally,” Mrs Lovell said.

Media contact: Andrew Drever  0409 580 996
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