This is an exciting program that we have access to and you may not even know it. The Early Childhood Defence Program is a collective of resources to support our children from age 2 right up to 12 (using a multilayered approach).
Through funding, they have been able to create, pilot and evaluate free access research-based resources from Feb 2020 – Feb 2023.
The resources have been created to support not only our children but also those who support them; parents, family support workers and social workers and educators, DSM and REDLOs.
While still in test drive mode, the ebooks (amongst other awesome things) available should not be overlooked. They include discussions on deployment, relocating, separation through training and even the changes that happening families when a parent returns home with a physical or mental health condition.
They have even had consideration for the hearing impaired and created signed ebooks!
Using their app, the ebooks can be downloaded to store on your iPad (or phone), to use indefinitely.
The resource use research-based children’s books in each module to assist the adult (parent, early childhood educator/teacher, family/social worker) tp support children’s understanding and resilience.
Each book has accompanying resources such as free downloadable educational activities for each book (puppets, puzzles, matching and sorting games, board games, card games, sequencing and storytelling activities).
All the books are free to download, however families can order a print version through their site (still test driving).
There are a number of books that are worth investigating (if not all of them!). The following titles are ones about deployment and life within the military and have been suggested by Marg herself.
- ‘Mary’s Alphabet Slippery Dip’ – for our youngest audience and looks at military family life and emotional responses. This features a military family, but might feature many families. Great for babies, toddlers and preschoolers, and young readers
- ‘Waiting for Daddy’ – very popular with preschoolers and beyond. This book explores the experience of a parent going and returning from deployment through the eyes of 2-year-old Rose. It features one family
- ‘Now that I am big’ – features Rose’s older brother, 5-year-old Anthony. He experiences challenging responses during reintegration. This book is for older preschoolers and young school -aged children.
- ‘D is for Deployment’ features preschooler Ann who is Mary’s older sister. She takes the reader through the word deployment, exploring every letter. It is similar to Mary’s alphabet in that it could potentially feature different families.
- ‘T is for Training’ – is almost the same as ‘D is for Deployment’, but it features a different family whose mother deploys in the Airforce.
- ‘We Remember’ looks at military culture – remembrance services, flags, memorials, symbolism etc.
If you would like access to these titles, register to access them below (takes you to ECDP website)
Register for access