Let’s Count 

Frequently Asked Questions

About The Smith Family
The Smith Family (TSF) is a national children’s charity that helps disadvantaged young Australians to succeed in their education, so they can create better futures for themselves.

With programs in 94 communities across Australia, we supported over 130,000 disadvantaged children and families across the country in 2014/15. Our holistic approach for a disadvantaged child’s education involves the child, their parents, the school and community and creates the best chance of overcoming intergenerational disadvantage. Further information about The Smith Family is available here.

Our range of programs, that cover preschool to post school years, improve the educational and learning outcomes for these children/young people by providing support, resources and creating opportunities.

 

About the Let’s Count Program
Q. What is Let’s Count? A. The Smith Family’s Let’s Count program is an early years intervention program that aims to significantly improve the mathematical capabilities of preschool children. It builds the capacity of educators, parents and other family members to help children aged 3 to 5 years to play with, investigate and learn powerful mathematical ideas.
Q. Who is the Let’s Count for? Let’s Count involves professional learning for early childhood educators that aims to enhance mathematics learning and teaching and strengthen partnerships between early years’ educators and parents. The key message in the Let’s Count program is Notice, Explore and Talk about Mathematics.
Q. Is the program evaluated?

Face-to-face version only

a. Yes, Let’s Count is a fully evaluated program. The Smith Family conducted an evaluation over a 3-year period in four communities and multiple early learning and care settings.

Surveys and interviews were conducted with educators and parent/carers, and a Maths Assessment interview undertaken with children who did participate in Let’s Count and a baseline group to compare against, of children who did not participate.

The key findings were, for children who participated in Let’s Count there were statistically significant improvements.

To see the results and access the evaluation report click here

Q. Will the online version be evaluated? A. Yes, the online pilot includes an evaluation, which is being conducted by Monash University.
Q. Is Let’s Count aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF)? A. Yes, it’s aligned with the EYLF. It provides early childhood educators with the skills and resources to facilitate children’s learning. Educators can then actively promote these skills to parents and children in their early childhood setting in collaboration with children, parents and families.
Q. Is Let’s Count accredited as recognised professional development?

Face-to-face version only

A. Let’s Count is accredited as an endorsed provider by the NSW Education Standard Authority (NESA) – Completing the Let’s Count course will contribute 12 hours of Quality Teaching Council (QTC)
It is also accredited by the ACT Education Directorate as professional development for any person registered with the ACT Education Directorate as either a permanent officer or a relief/substitute teacher/teacher’s support
Q. Will The Smith Family look at having Let’s Count accredited with any other educational bodies? A. Yes, we will be looking at accreditation as a means to expand the program and provide more educators with this professional development.
Q. Does Let’s Count receive any funding? A. Let’s Count has been funded by the Commonwealth Department of Education and Training under the National Innovation and Science Agenda.
The Commonwealth funding of $4m over 4 years runs from 2016-2020.
Funding has also been received from Orica, a corporate partner, to assist us with digitising Let’s Count.
About the Let’s Count eLearning
Q. Why would I do the online course? A. A number of early years educators who took part in the first small pilot said that they would rather do the online version as it means they don’t have to take time out of work hours to attend a face-to-face sessions. Some said that it’s great for educators in remote areas, who may not be able to attend a face-to-face session. Some said they just preferred online “Do it in my own time and my own pace”.
Q. Is there a cost to undertake the course? A. No, there is no charge to undertake the online course.
Q. Who can register for the course? A. While we are not restricting who registers, the course is really only relevant to people working in the Early Years’ Education and Care sector.
Q. Does the course assume prior knowledge in this field? A. To a certain extent, the course does assume some prior knowledge of early childhood teaching and pedagogy.
Q. How many modules are there? A. There are two modules. Module 1 has 4 topics and Module 2 has 2 topics.
There is also a Practical Application period of 4 weeks, which falls in between the modules.
Q. How long will it take me to complete the course?
  1. It’s up to you, as the modules are self-paced. We provide you with an 8-week window in which to complete the entire course.
  • 2 weeks to complete Module 1 (self-paced)
  • 4 weeks’ practice
  • 2 weeks to complete Module 2 (self-paced)

It will not take any longer than the face-to-face version, which is one day per session.

You only get access to Module 2 four weeks after completing Module 1.

Q. What is the Practical Application period? A. The Practical Application period is you opportunity to put into practice the concepts and pedagogical practices of Let’s Count. It provides you with the opportunity to practice these in your won setting, and sets you up for Module 2, which focuses on your refection of working with parents and planning for further activities.
Q. What happens if I don’t complete the course within the timeframe above? A. You may be suspended from the course. If this happens, and you want to re-enrol you will need to use the Contact Us button.
Q. Do I get access to online resources? A. Yes, you get access to a range of resources, including the Educator Handbook and Let’s Count At Home and Out and About tip sheets (also translate din different languages).
Q. How do I ask a question/seek advice? A. You have access to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) under the FAQ button.
You can also email us by using the “Contact Us” button.
Q. Do I get a completion certificate? A. Yes, once you have completed the entire course (Module 1, Practical Application and Module 2) you will receive a completion certificate.
Q. Can I do mix it up and do some of the course face-to-face and some online? A. No, at the moment you need to do either all online or all face-to-face.
Q. Is the course accessible to sight and hearing impaired learners? A. Yes, the course if fully accessible to WCAG AA standards. For further information on WCAG you can go to https://www.w3.org/TR/WCAG20/
Technical Aspects
Q. What operating system do I need? A. Desktop: Windows 8+ (released Oct 2012) and Mac OS X v10.10 “Yosemite” (released Oct 2014). Android: Android 5+ “Lollipop” (released Nov 2014) and iOS: iOS 8+ (release Sept 2014)
If you do not have any of these you will need to upgrade your operating system.
Q. What bandwidth is needed? Suitable for ADSL/ADSL 2+/NBN broadband Internet & 3/4G mobile networks
Q. What browser will I need? A. IE 8 and above, Google Chrome 57, Firefox 50, Safari 10
If you do not have any of these you will need to upgrade your browser.
Q. Can I access the course on a device other than a desktop? A. Yes, you can use a tablet or mobile device to access the course.