Childcare and kindergarten for Aboriginal children

There are a number of childcare and preschool services that have been established for Koorie children and families that are operated by and for the Aboriginal community.

Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services

Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS) are designed to meet the educational, social and developmental needs of Aboriginal children. These services provide long day care and at least one other form of child care or activity, such as a kindergarten program, outside school hours care, playgroups, nutrition programs and/or parenting programs to the community.

  • Berrimba,  94 Hare Street, Echuca. Phone: 5481 1900
  • Gunai Lidj, 5 Buckley Street, Morwell. Phone: 5136 5147 or 5136 5128
  • Lulla Children and Family Centre, 42 Harold Street, Shepparton. Phone: 5831 5479
  • Robinvale, 87 Latje Road, Robinvale. Phone: 5051 8950
  • Bung Yarnda, Rules Road, Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust. Phone: 5156 5718
  • Yappera, 2 Watt Street, Thornbury. Phone: 9416 8787

Aboriginal Child and Family Centres

Victoria has established two Aboriginal Child and Family Centres (ACFCs) in the City of Whittlesea and in Bairnsdale, East Gippsland. The centres provide early childhood and family support services, including long day care, kindergarten for three and four-year-old Koorie children, visiting Maternal and Child Health nurses, counsellors, midwives and other universal services.

Bubup Wilam Early Learning Children and Family Centre
76 Main Street, Thomastown
Phone: 8459 4800
Bubup Wilam website 

Dala Yooro
37-53 Dalmahoy Street, Bairnsdale VIC 3875
Phone: 03 5150 0700
Dala Yooro website 

Kindergarten programs

Koorie children can access two years of a funded kindergarten program prior to starting school. This funding is available in all kindergartens and long day care centres where a kindergarten program is delivered by a qualified teacher.

Both four year old (year before school) and three year old Koorie children can access 15 hours a week of these kindergarten programs at no cost. Kindergarten for three year old Koorie children is called Early Start Kindergarten. To be eligible, children must be at least three years old by 30 April in the year that they are attending kindergarten. Children attending year before school kindergarten may also be eligible for the kindergarten fee subsidy.

For more information about kindergarten programs:

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

Koorie engagement support officers

Koorie engagement support officers (KESOs) are employed by the Department to support Koorie families in accessing services and supports to ensure the best start in life for Koorie children, from birth to school completion.

KESOs provide advice and practical support to services that provide funded kindergarten programs. They build the capacity of these services to deliver programs that are respectful of the cultural beliefs and practices of Koorie children by, for example:

  • increasing and enhancing Koorie children's participation in kindergarten
  • promoting the values of kindergarten programs within Koorie families and communities
  • promoting cultural awareness and providing access to relevant resources for the delivery of all kindergarten programs.

You can contact your KESO through your regional office.

Koorie preschool assistants

Koorie preschool assistants (KPSAs) work out of local community-based organisations.

They work with services delivering kindergarten programs to:

  • enhance the access and participation of Koorie children in kindergarten programs
  • promote and assist in the delivery of kindergarten programs that are inclusive of Koorie children
  • support the attendance of Koorie children who are enrolled in kindergarten programs
  • encourage the involvement and participation of Koorie parents, families and carers in the development of kindergarten programs.

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.