Aboriginal preschool attendance front-and-centre for NSW Government
Aboriginal children will have greater opportunities in preschool settings across NSW thanks to a boost from the NSW Government to extend two key Aboriginal programs to the end of 2019.
An additional $750,000 has been allocated to continue Ninganah No More and Aboriginal Families as Teachers, two programs seeing strong take-up since their implementation earlier this year.
Minister for Early Childhood Education and Aboriginal Affairs Sarah Mitchell said the decision was made following ‘Yarn Up’, a workshop discussion in Sydney between 45 organisations involved in running the programs across the State.
“Yarn Up is a space where service providers can share their experiences and ideas to help improve outcomes for Aboriginal children in early childhood education, because we know how critical input from educators and communities is to develop key programs like these,” Ms Mitchell said.
“Following these discussions, I’m thrilled to announce that the Liberals & Nationals Government can deliver additional funding to extend these programs.”
Ninganah No More allows community based Aboriginal organisations to partner with early childhood education services to embed Aboriginal language and culture lessons into the children’s curriculum, and Aboriginal Families as Teachers helps strengthen the ability of Aboriginal families to create developmentally rich home learning environments.
Neil Gorring, Director of Uniting Preschool Grafton, said the Ninganah No More program has significantly developed children’s cultural competence and awareness of Aboriginal language and culture at the service.
“Thanks to the NSW Government’s program, we have partnered with the Bundjalung Cultural Experience organisation and local Bundjalung Elder, Uncle Roger Duroux, to teach the children and educators about local Aboriginal culture,” Mr Gorring said.
“We are so appreciative of the ‘Ninganah’ funding we received, as our children have been able to meaningfully connect to Aboriginal culture. This will be ongoing, as what has been learnt is now embedded within our everyday educational practice.”
Ms Mitchell said she is proud the programs are having a significant impact on the participation of Aboriginal children in early childhood education settings, particularly in the year before school.
“At the end of the day, it is the Liberals & Nationals who are doing the heavy lifting to improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children in preschools. This additional funding will ensure more children benefit and that’s a good thing,” she said.
The NSW Government has already invested $1.5 million in these programs to date.
For more information, visit the Department of Education website.
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MEDIA: Sally Taylor | Minister Mitchell | 0428 149 401