The Abecedarian Approach

At Bush Babies, we incorporate the Abecedarian Approach into all of our programs. The Abecedarian Approach is an evidence-based, proven program that has demonstrated effectiveness in promoting positive and long-lasting changes in children’s life outcomes. 

What is the Abecedarian Approach?

The approach is beautifully simple and can be used by educators and families alike. Language Priority is the main component of the approach. Language allows children to express their ideas and feelings and equips them with the tools they need to interact and make connections with those around them. The approach encourages the use of rich language during extended conversations with children to promote the development of language.

The Abecedarian Approach encourages frequent, individual and intentional interactions with children, and is underpinned by three key elements:

Enriched Caregiving

Enriched caregiving is all about promoting frequent, individual and intentional interactions with children. Educators recognise that teachable moments can be any time of the day, and use routine times, such as meal times and nappy changing times, to have lots of individual interactions with children, using lots of rich language input at these times.

Enriched caregiving means showing children that you have taken a genuine interest in what they are doing. It helps to nurture your relationship with them, whilst allowing you the opportunity to really get to know your child.

Conversational Reading

Conversational Reading is a beautiful reading style that allows the child to be in control of the book. The idea is that we don’t learn to read, but that we read to learn. This strategy ignores the traditional style of reading a book cover to cover and allows a child to show their own sense of agency in the book they choose and how they read it.

See our article, Encouraging Literacy in Young Children for more information.

Learning Games:

Learning Games are a fun way to encourage children to learn. There are 200 learning games in total and they cater to all different ages ranges, from birth to 5 years. The games are designed to set children up for success, so that they gain confidence in their learning abilities and are inspired to continue. Each game has clear instructions and contains ideas for extending on children’s learning. Learning Games should be played with each child individually, providing more opportunities for rich language input and provocations for children.