Play@ASSOA is a fortnightly playgroup delivered through IDL (Interactive Distance Learning) by Alice Springs School of the Air Preschool teacher, Mrs Vicki Skoss. This program is for babies and children from birth to four years, and is broadcast from a studio at ASSOA to children in remote Central Australia.

The half hour sessions includes lots of singing, games, rhymes, dancing and stories for littlies. This promotes brain development for speaking, listening, memory skills, hand-eye co-ordination, imagination and creativity. Participating in these activities helps families to learn new ways of communicating with babies, toddlers and preschoolers.

This initiative began more than two years ago and is in recognition of the importance of song, rhyme and stories in the first five years of a child’s life. Research has conclusively shown that the experiences of babies and children from birth to four has a huge impact on life outcomes, and ASSOA aims to increase early childhood offerings for geographically isolated children across Central Australia.

The Play@ASSOA children love these sessions. One three year old, when the session was about to start, told his family to please be quiet as ‘his school’ was starting.