Kindergarten for Aboriginal children: Koorie Kids Shine

Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children can get up to 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten each week.

To be eligible, your child must turn 3 or 4 years old by 30 April in the year they go to kindergarten.

Koorie Kids Shine was launched by the Victorian Government to help promote participation by Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in kindergarten.

Benefits of kindergarten

Kindergarten is important for children. Research has shown that early education helps set children up for a bright future. In kindergarten they learn skills that they will take with them throughout their life.

Kindergarten classes will often have a number of students from different cultures and backgrounds.

In kindergarten your child will learn to build their own sense of identity and how their own culture relates to the diversity in the world around them.

"I sent my children to kinder because I wanted them to be ready for school. Kinder made them smart, proud, strong and resilient. Now they're sending their children too." – Aunty Esme.

Respecting cultural identity

Kindergartens work hard to create culturally safe places for Koorie children and families and include Aboriginal perspectives in the learning curriculum and environment.

You are encouraged to talk with your child’s teacher about your own cultures and beliefs, and how these can be incorporated into the activities at kindergarten.

Why kindergarten?

Kindergarten will help your child learn the skills they need that will help them do well in future years at school. It will help them:

  • build their sense of identity
  • explore how they fit into the world around them
  • learn how to communicate with others
  • strengthen their physical, social and emotional wellbeing
  • feel confident in learning and trying new things.

You, as a parent, are supported and encouraged to be a part of their child’s education, helping to build on the learning that your child is already doing at home.

What happens at kindergarten?

Kindergarten is a program where your child will be able to have fun, learn through experiences and activities such as dance, movement and art, as well as building the skills they need for reading, writing and maths to be set to start school.

At kindergarten, your child can:

  • learn through play, art, music and dance
  • learn to express themselves in a safe, inclusive and caring environment
  • build skills and confidence to prepare them for school.

Enrol your child in kindergarten

To enrol your child, visit the find a kinder program site, speak to your local council or contact your closest Koorie Education Coordinator.

Stories of Koorie kids at kindergarten

Koorie Kids Shine

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families can learn about the benefits of kindergarten, including how services create culturally safe places for Koorie children and families, and how to enrol in free or low-cost kindergarten for three- and four-year-old children through Koorie Kids Shine.