Child care and kindergarten for Aboriginal children

Several child care and preschool services 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 Child Care, 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
  • Murray Valley Aboriginal Early Learning Centre, 87 Latje Road, Robinvale. Phone: 5051 8950
  • Lake Tyers Early Learning Centre and Kindergarten, Rules Road, Lake Tyers Aboriginal Trust. Phone: 5156 5718
  • Yappera Children's Centre, 2 Watt Street, Thornbury. Phone: 9416 8787

Aboriginal Child and Family Centres

Victoria has established two Aboriginal Child and Family Centres (ACFCs), one in the City of Whittlesea, Melbourne and one 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 Aboriginal Child 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 at GEGAC website(opens in a new window)

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.

Koorie children aged three or four (year before school) 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.

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.