To support the participation of children from non-English speaking families, early childhood services may access the Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS).
What is the Translating and Interpreting Service?
TIS is an Australia-wide service operated by the federal Department of Immigration and Border Protection that employs interpreters who speak more than 170 languages and dialects.
Interpreters can help services to:
- advise parents on enrolment
- conduct parent-teacher interviews
- advise parents on programs and activities
- discuss educational assessment with parents
- advise parents on kindergarten to school transition.
How can your service access the TIS?
Kindergarten services will need to contact their central governing body for more information on requesting or booking an on-site or telephone interpreter.
Long day care services should contact Inclusion Support Queensland on 1800 811 039 for translating and interpreting support options.
Knowing where to put her child's lunchbox each day used to be an issue for Vi Bich Thanh.
When her daughter Isabella first started at the Inala Kindergarten and Community Preschool, Vi was not sure of the drop-off routine or other aspects of the kindergarten program. Having moved to Australia from Vietnam and unable to speak English, she couldn't ask for help.
Kindergarten Director Michelle Hallesy quickly recognised the issue and called the Translating and Interpreting Service.
"We booked a translator to come and meet with us and Vi," Ms Hallesy said.
"The translator enabled us to easily share information about our program with Vi and answer all her questions, including simple things like where to put Isabella's lunchbox."
"It was wonderful to be able to provide Vi with the information she needed so quickly and easily."
Ms Hallesy said she also had the TIS translate their service's parent handbook and other important documents into Vietnamese and Korean.
"We have a significant number of families from Vietnam and Korea living in Inala and wanted to ensure we could offer them information about the benefits of kindergarten and our program in their own language, as well as English," she said.
"Many families are unsure about kindergarten programs so providing translated information is a positive way we promote our kindy and encourage them to enrol their child."
For resources translated into multiple languages, please visit translated resources.