Supporting Aboriginal children and their families

Early childhood programs and services for Aboriginal children and their families.

BALERT GERRBIK: Koorie Families as First Educators

There are nine Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) funded by the Department to deliver evidence-based parenting support through the BALERT GERRBIK: Koorie Families as First Educators (KFFE) initiative.

KFFE supports Koorie families to provide a strong foundation for their children's early learning and development through high-quality, culturally safe, evidence-based parenting support (pre-birth to school age, including transition to school). ACCOs in identified areas deliver KFFE by employing and supporting Koorie educators to work with parents/carers to build the capacity of Koorie families to support their children's early learning and development.

KFFE incorporates the Koorie In Home Support/Home Based Learning initiative, whose funding was integrated with KFFE under a common set of guidelines and the language name BALERT GERRBIK in 2019. BALERT GERRBIK means 'my strong family/kin' and is from the Taungurong language.

KFFE funding is delivered across Victoria, in the following locations:

  • Ballarat
  • Bendigo
  • Latrobe
  • Wodonga
  • Northern Metro
  • Swan Hill
  • Mildura
  • East Gippsland
  • Geelong

Guidelines for BALERT GERRBIK: Koorie Families as First Educators is available from the Koorie Outcomes Division of DET. To request a copy, please email: marrung@education.vic.gov.au

Childcare and kindergarten

Find out more about childcare and preschool services for Koorie children and their families that are operated by and for the Aboriginal community.

Best Start

Best Start is an early years initiative to support families and caregivers to provide the best possible environment, experiences and care for children from birth to age eight. The program focuses on children experiencing vulnerability and all Aboriginal children.

Find Best Start policy, guidelines and partnership agreement templates for early childhood professionals.

Koorie Kids Shine

Koorie Kids Shine is a program that promotes the value of kindergarten to Aboriginal parents and community. Aboriginal children aged three and four are eligible for 15 hours of free kindergarten each week. To be eligible, a child must turn three or four years old by 30 April in the year they go to kindergarten.

Contact us

For more information about early childhood services for Koorie families (including kindergarten programs):

  • contact your local council
  • call the Koorie education coordinator at your regional office.