Poster Presentation Lowitja Institute International Indigenous Health and Wellbeing Conference 2016

A place for culture–Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander learnings and practice in early years services (#303)

Jenine Godwin-Thompson 1 , Kate Booth 1
  1. SNAICC, Melbourne, VIC, Australia

Aims: To develop a cultural competency framework and training package for staff in non-Indigenous Early Childhood Education and Care Services (ECEC) to improve service access and service quality for Indigenous children.

Background: A Place for Culture is a learning framework for all early years educators towards embedding culturally inclusive practice within their practice, as a way of empowering learning spaces. The framework supports the educators while meeting the National Quality Standards (NQS) on their journey to culturally inclusive practice as outlined in the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).

In the context of understanding why cultural training is important for non-Indigenous early years services, it is critical to look at factors that have contributed to the low participation of Indigenous children in educational institutions. Activities, such as play based educational activities alongside cultural engagement are deemed the best way to develop effective skills in the children’s social and emotional development.

Based on the theme of ‘knowledge’, by effectively embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait learning’s and practice the framework will provide an educational ‘two-way learning’ process, with a foundation based on respectful relationships and partnerships from both Indigenous community and all Early Years Educators as a way to improve on educational outcomes for all.

Methodology: Training delivery is to ten non-Indigenous ECEC services across five states and territories across four days interaction/training and mentoring. Training will be delivered to all Educators in services in urban/regional areas with high Indigenous populations with high vulnerability on the Australian Early Development Census and low service engagement.

Outcome: To ensure culturally inclusive practice is implemented into non-Indigenous Early Years Services. Supporting families to give children a good start in life through improved early childhood development, care, education and school readiness.