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Enrolling more Koorie kids at kinder

More Koorie children are going to kinder in Victoria than ever before, thanks to the Victorian Government.

Victorian Early Childhood Education Minister Jenny Mikakos marked the 30th anniversary of National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day, highlighting the progress that’s been made to lift kindergarten enrolment numbers for Aboriginal kids.

The Victorian Government has overseen a record boost to participation rates – growing from 79.6 per cent in 2014 to 94 per cent in 2017.

The Koorie Kids Shine at Kindergarten campaign was launched in 2015 to encourage more Aboriginal children to access 15 hours of free three and four-year-old kindergarten.

Koorie Preschool Assistants and Koorie Engagement Support Officers also work with early years services to support Koorie children and Koorie perspectives in the curriculum.

The Victorian Government is also implementing $5.4 million parenting support programs delivered through Aboriginal community controlled organisations (ACCOs), such as Koorie Families as First Educators initiative and Koorie Supported Playgroups.

The Victorian Budget 2018/19 provided $4 million over four years to expand Maternal and Child Health services for Koorie families and provide scholarships for Koorie nurses to undertake further studies to become midwives and Maternal and Child Health nurses.

These initiatives support the 10-year Marrung: Aboriginal Education Plan and recognise programs delivered by ACCOs to Koorie families are most effective in improving outcomes for babies and children.

Kindergarten services operated by an ACCO will also be among the first to be eligible for school readiness funding from 2019. The Australian-first $58.1 million initiative will provide kindergartens with funding to access a range of supports, resources and experts including speech therapists and language and literacy experts.

Work is underway through the Victorian Government’s landmark $202.1 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan to ensure kids are ready for kinder, ready for school and ready for life.

Source: Victorian Government

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