Mercy Community Letter of Support for Little Stars Kids
To Whom It May Concern,
Mercy Community has been partnering Little Stars Kids’, Little Stars Learners Program from its inception in late 2020. As reflected in national and international research and observed in practice, many children and young people in Out of Home Care are significantly disadvantaged in terms of their educational outcomes because of many factors including the impact of trauma on their developing brains, which impacts their ability to learn.
Additionally, there are other factors that impact children’s ability to learn including school instability, missed days due to appointments, trauma-based responses resulting in suspension or expulsion, changes to care placement and low self-esteem and confidence leading to hurdles in learning. The Little Stars Learners Program is helping address a significant need and gap for children in care who are often unable to fully engage and learn in the classroom setting, without additional support.
Tutoring by qualified and trauma-informed tutors in the child’s home is really important and can enable a child to feel confident; to ask questions to aid their learning at a pace that works for them; and for the lessons to be tailored to match their development.
We have referred many children to the Little Stars Learners Program during 2021 and the feedback we have received from carers and practitioners has been very positive. I have had great feedback about the Little Stars program! Carers have said that the flexible, individual approach to the tutoring has meant that the kids (both aged 11) have engaged with their tutor and look forward to their sessions. This is in comparison to past tutoring opportunities where the “one size fits all” approach has not worked – for example, sitting down for an hour to go over the homework. This past environment has caused anxiety and reduced confidence for one of the children, who now, with Little Stars, is learning their times tables with ease as the tutor works the sums into a game of soccer goal scoring.
The kids and carers have also said that the weekly feedback notes from the tutor has been a great tool in keeping the young people engaged as the feedback is written to them, often expressing excitement and pride around the child’s progress with their learning.
During 2021 we were able to provide funding for a number of children in the Little Stars Learners Program. Little Stars Kids also provided many scholarships to children which enabled them to participate in the program where funding would not otherwise have been available. We will be continuing to refer children to Little Stars Learners into the future.
Head of Operations – Family & Young People