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Early childhood education programs supporting Aboriginal children

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

Koorie Kids Shine

Watch our Why Koorie Kids Shine video to learn more about Koorie Kids Shine, Early Start Kindergarten and the value of kindergarten for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Koorie Kids Shine is a program that promotes the value of kindergarten to Aboriginal parents and the 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.

Help us spread the word about Koorie Kids Shine by sharing these social media posts, materials and videos.

To order Koorie Kids Shine print material free of charge, please sign up and/or login to the Victorian Kindergarten Resources website, and select the Koorie Kids Shine option. Anyone can view and order Koorie Kids Shine print material.

Download and print your posters, brochures and postcards:

Download the Communications kit (DOCX, 2 MB) which has social media and newsletter copy

Download social media tiles for use on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram:

Download or link to our videos:

BALERT GERRBIK: Koorie Families as First Educators

There are nine Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) funded by us 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 the 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
  • Shepparton

Guidelines for BALERT GERRBIK: Koorie Families as First Educators is available from our Koorie Outcomes Division. 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.

Bupup balak wayipungang initiative

The bupup balak wayipungang initiative is a Victorian Government early childhood initiative. It used to be called the Koorie Preschool Assistants initiative (KPSA). This initiative supports better outcomes for Koorie children from birth to transition to school.

It does this by:

  • supporting Koorie children and families to access and be involved in their local kindergartens
  • promoting inclusion and cultural safety in kindergartens
  • supporting kindergarten services and programs to include Aboriginal perspectives in their practice and curriculum

New guidelines are available to support organisations funded by the Victorian Department of Education to deliver the bupup balak wayipungang initiative.

The use of a new name for the initiative in Dja Dja Wurrung Language has been approved.

The new language name for the initiative is ‘bupup balak wayipungang’. This means ‘helping/supporting the young kids’.

The name of the role (formerly Koorie Preschool Assistant) is 'wayipungitj,' which means 'supporters'.

Note: Dja Dja Wurrung words are not capitalised unless placenames or personal names.

We commissioned artwork for the refreshed initiative. Victorian artist Emily Bell created this piece ‘Life’ and made it available for use to badge the initiative.

A vibrant painting using a mix of dot painting and line techniques, with concentric rings, a lizard, snail, frog, fish, and snake around the top, and native flowers around the bottom.

The wayipungitj’s role focuses on four key areas:

  • participation
  • practice
  • community
  • family.

These areas guide the work and have four aims:

  • Koorie children have better access to kindergartens, and they take part more.
  • Kindergarten services are more culturally inclusive and welcoming.
  • Local Aboriginal communities get involved in developing and supporting culturally inclusive kindergarten programs.
  • Stronger relationships with families. This supports Koorie children to take part in early childhood programs and services.

You can access guidelines to help you deliver this initiative.

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.

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