Working To Boost Koorie Kindergarten Participation

The Andrews Labor Government has launched a set of digital videos promoting the benefits of kindergarten to help boost Aboriginal participation in vital early childhood learning services.

Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos launched the videos at the Aboriginal Children’s Forum in Preston today – the second quarterly forum this year.

Ms Mikakos co-chaired the forum with Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative CEO Raylene Harradine.

Ms Mikakos established the quarterly forums in June to work closely with Aboriginal community organisations and the community to tackle the overrepresentation of Aboriginal children in child protection.

The Forum heard bold ideas for how to achieve lasting change and improved outcomes for Aboriginal children, young people, families and communities.

Discussed at the forum were ways to improve the safety and wellbeing of Aboriginal children and young people in, or at risk of, coming into out-of-home care; how to promote stronger Aboriginal families and better tailor services to meet their needs, and; supporting culturally strong Aboriginal communities.

The Koorie Kids Shine at Kindergarten video – announced during Children’s Week – will promote the benefits of kindergarten and highlight the crucial role that high-quality early years education and care play in children’s development and in improving outcomes at school and beyond.

Overall 96 per cent of Victorian children attend kinder in the year before school however one in five Aboriginal children does not, despite Aboriginal families being able to access three and four year-old kindergarten for free.

The videos will be distributed to kindergarten providers, councils and Koorie Engagement Support Officers.

The Labor Government is working to improve Victoria’s entire child protection and family services system through the Roadmap for Reform project which will examine it from the ground up.

This is in addition to the record $257 million funding boost to child protection and family services in the 2015–16 Victorian Budget – a 17 per cent increase on the previous year.

To view the videos visit: www.youtube.com/watch?v=XM8My2k_HBU

Quotes attributable to Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos

“We are working in partnership with Aboriginal organisations and the community to tackle the underrepresentation of Aboriginal children in kindergarten and the overrepresentation in out-of-home care.”

“Early learning is vital for brain development and giving children the best possible start in life – lifting Aboriginal participation in kindergarten is crucial to improving lives and outcomes down the track.”  

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