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The Smith Family

Creating a better future for young Australians in need.

Today, one in 10 Australian children are living in jobless families1, where even life's basics are hard to come by. When families are experiencing financial disadvantage, children can fall behind with their learning, leaving them more vulnerable to experiencing hardship themselves later in life.

The Smith Family helps disadvantaged Australian children to participate fully in their education and break the cycle of disadvantage.They provide learning support and mentoring programs to help children in need fit in at school, keep up with their peers, and build aspirations for a better future.

Research shows that children in Australia’s most disadvantaged communities have access to fewer books and learning materials in the home. These children start school already behind their peers and by the time they are 15 years old, they are on average 2-3 years behind in reading and maths2.

The Smith Family’s Let’s Count program works with early childhood educators and parents to develop early numeracy skills in young children and help better prepare them for school. The program provides simple and practical skills to help parents and children notice, explore and discuss maths concepts in their daily lives.

Our Foundation has been supporting the Let’s Count program Since 2011. “Evaluation has shown children in Let’s Count perform significantly better than those outside it,” said Sean Barrett, Head of the Origin Foundation. “The harder the challenge the better children perform - remarkable evidence.”

Why playtime is more fun for Kate

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  1. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2013. Labour force status and other characteristics of families, June 2012).
  2. Thomson et al, 2011, Challenges for Australian Education: Results from PISA 2009