For migrant and non-English speaking women with children, qualified child minding services have proven to be a big drawcard to Canterbury City Community Centre’s ‘English Classes for Women’.
Supported by a $4,700 donation from Canterbury League Club, the weekly English classes cater for Beginner to Advanced speakers and often have two teachers in each session. The classes are run in partnership with Mission Australia and benefit women with young children who are often socially isolated and have limited access to other classes.
“Child minding creates access for many of the women to be able to attend – particularly if they don’t have family and friends who can help. The children also benefit as they can play and socialise in our indoor and outdoor play areas,” said Liz Messih, CEO of Canterbury City Community Centre (4C).
Aside from child minding services, 4C also prints and distributes a directory with a list of available English classes run by different providers in the local Canterbury district. The directory is circulated in the community through local libraries, community centres and council offices, and is also available online through their website.
“We first put the Directory together in 2004 as we had many enquiries from residents about where they could go to learn English and were given lots of bits of paper. It was quite confusing as the many different classes had different eligibility requirements and different fees and different locations,” said Messih.
“English classes will not only help people from non-English speaking backgrounds integrate more smoothly into the Australian community, but it will also increase opportunities to make new friends and to participate in other activities such as study and employment,” said Dr George Peponis OAM, Chairman of Canterbury League Club.