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Speaking children’s language with Growing Words

3-minute read

Growing Words, Innovate with nbn® Grants Program winner for Health, is helping empower parents to improve their children’s speech and language skills online.

The nbn network is the essential infrastructure that helps connect people to each other and provides access to the crucial tools and services that support everyday needs in a fast-changing digital world.

We provide the network, internet retailers deliver the service, and users reap the rewards.

nbn’s purpose is to help lift the digital capability of Australia by connecting homes and businesses across Australia and providing access to the positive social and economic benefits enabled by access to a secure digital backbone.

We know broadband connectivity can help improve health and lifestyle outcomes through enabling access to remote healthcare providers, online social networks and educational opportunities – and an example of an innovative online business doing exactly that is Growing Words.

Pioneered by Gunnedah (Kamilaroi Country) farmer and veteran speech pathologist Kylie Toynton, Growing Words is an online platform designed to equip parents with the tools they need to help improve their child’s speech and language skills.

Kylie says a major goal was to give parents a digital solution with useful information and training resources to ensure they didn’t feel powerless or alone.

“I really wanted to find a way that I could help as many parents as I can, and as many kids as I can, in a new and innovative way.”

Successfully achieving that also struck a chord with the 2021 Innovate with nbn Grants Program judging panel, which named Growing Words winner of the Health category.

Innovate with nbn Grants Program

The Innovate with nbn Grants Program recognises and showcases regional and remote businesses, who are:

  • Innovators or entrepreneurs inspiring others in their community
  • Champions of digital adoption
  • Continuing to facilitate the digital capabilities and benefits of the nbn network
  • Advocates of supporting regional businesses

Run in partnership with the Regional Australia Institute (RAI), the initiative is part of nbn’s commitment to lift the digital capability of people and business in regional Australia.

nbn is in the fortunate position of being able to help improve the quality of life for millions of Australians – and it embraces its role as a driver of our community wellbeing.

Innovative businesses enabled by access to services over the nbn network have been awarded grants of $10,000 across seven categories: Agriculture, Arts, Education, Health, Indigenous Business, Tourism, and Women in Regional Business, with the overall Innovate with nbn Champion awarded an additional $25,000 grant to help support their bright idea. 

Kylie says being named as an Innovate with nbn finalist was a significant moment, giving her the confidence to believe her innovative idea “had legs”.

Going on to win her category took events to another level.

“It was such an exciting moment for me and my family.

“It meant that I could go ahead and build the platform much quicker than I would have without the award. It really gave me such a huge confidence boost.”

Growing Words offers parents – particularly those in rural and remote areas who find it difficult to access healthcare services – a range of online training courses and advice designed to help children with speech and language difficulties.

Doing more with connectivity

Proving crucial to the success of Growing Words, says Kylie, is a growing level of comfort among Australians embracing the power of digital connectivity, combined with access to the nbn network.

We've all become much more used to engaging with digital solutions, says Kylie.

“And the nbn network has allowed me to build my business and develop this idea.”

Since launching Growing Words, Kylie says she has received consistent feedback from parents that they feel better equipped to help their children.

“Once parents feel empowered, they can do so much for their child during really critical developmental periods, where otherwise those children would be lacking services and missing out on really important time.

“My platform is offering that parent training of how to pick what a problem is, should they seek help, how they'll seek help, and what parents can actually do at home that fits into their everyday life.” 

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