A new study is underway at Charles Sturt University (CSU) to better understand how very young children can be supported to write and draw at home and at childcare.
Researchers from the University's School of Education are examining the understanding of parents and early childcare professionals of literacy in under three year olds and how they support and promote it.
Dr Noella Mackenzie said, "Early literacy can be encouraged through teaching nursery rhythms, singing or helping children to draw in the sand.
"We specifically want to understand what happens in children aged under three, before they move into pre-school as literacy research in these early years is scarce," she said.
The two early childhood centres at CSU in Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga have agreed to participate in the study. In in the initial part of the project, surveys were distributed to parents and the early childcare educators.
Dr Mackenzie said the surveys asked open-ended questions, exploring the participants' understandings and practices around supporting early writing, and gathered demographic information.
Participants will also be invited to take part in telephone interviews.
"We want to find ways that early childcare educators and parents could be further supported to encourage young children's early drawing and writing," Dr Mackenzie said.
Director of the University's Children's Centre at Albury-Wodonga and Wagga Wagga Ms Megan Isaac said, "We are excited to be a part of this important research project.
"I feel our involvement will provide both our educators and families with some valuable professional development on early literacy," she said.