Four-year-old Emmanuel is often too busy playing with his friends, drawing or making something to acknowledge his dad when he arrives to pick him up from kindergarten. But both he and his dad couldn’t be happier.
Research shows that children who have a stimulating, supportive and healthy start are more likely to do well later in life.
And children who attend kinder score between 10 and 20 points higher on NAPLAN tests.
Kindergarten prepares children for school
Emmanuel, aged four, attends kindergarten at Yappera Children’s Centre in Thornbury.
He features in new resources on the importance of a high-quality early childhood education for Koorie children.
The Koorie Kids Shine in Kindergarten campaign also aims to help every Koorie family feel welcome and included when they walk intoany early childhood service in Victoria.
Mr Saunders said he had noticed a marked difference in Emmanuel’s confidence since attending kindergarten.
“When they walk into any early years’ service … they feel confident because they see Aboriginal faces.”
“It’s been great. We have always wanted him to go to kinder for the social side of his development,” Mr Saunders said.
“People I know who’ve held their kids back from kinder have found their children take longer to integrate into social settings.
“At kinder he’s involved in group activities and he’s having to share and work with others, which is great preparation for him to enter the school environment.”
Opening the door to the best start in life
The new campaign resources include a new poster, postcard and flyer produced in consultation with families, early learning services and Aboriginal organisations.
Yappera Children’s Service director Stacey Brown said culturally appropriate resources such as those provided as part of the campaign, drew in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.
“I believe families in our community are very visual and are visual learners,” she said.
“When they walk into any early years’ service and see these resources, they automatically feel an instant connection and they feel confident because they see Aboriginal faces.
“The resources also provide information that directly relates to how a child will benefit from access to a kindergarten program and how important it is in those years before school.”
Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos said the revamped campaign was about closing the gap and ensuring more Koorie kids attended kinder, stayed in kinder and got the best possible start in life.
“We’re seeing real progress on improving the participation of Koorie kids in kindergarten and programs like Koorie Kids Shine are helping deliver more inclusive and quality services.”
For more information and to download the new promotional materials, see:
Koorie Kids Shine at Kindergarten