Community Child Care Association’s new RAP released
Victoria’s Community Child Care Association has released a new Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) which strengthens the commitment to a reconciled Australia made by the peak body, and also serves to inspire other peak bodies and early childhood education and care (ECEC) providers to reflect on their commitment to an Australia where every First Nations child feels welcome in early learning, and all children learn about the history and cultures of the First Australians.
With nearly 250 of Victoria’s 3000+ ECEC services having a RAP in place, there is opportunity for other services to step up, Community Child Care Association Executive Director Julie Price said on launching the plan..
“As a leader in the early childhood sector, we know much more needs to be done to create safe and inclusive education and care services for First Nations children and their families,” she added, outlining that currently, 6 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are developmentally vulnerable when they start school.
These vulnerabilities may be lessened when children have access to high quality, culturally safe early education, which holds “the greatest potential for improved outcomes for First Nations children.”
As a peak body, Community Child Care Association is committed to taking an active role in the emerging dialogue about reconciliation in the early learning sector.
“We hope our RAP will inspire our members and other education and care services to begin their own reconciliation journey,” Ms Price said.
The RAP was developed in collaboration with staff, member services and Koorie leaders from the Victorian Aboriginal Education Association Inc and features an ambitious commitment to drive reconciliation outcomes by promoting Aboriginal voices, stories and perspectives – as well as RAPs for early learning services – through its mentoring and coaching with early childhood educators and service leaders.
The outreach efforts are already paying off, with Community Child Care Association member Spensley Street OSHC sharing a story of how the Association RAP inspired the service to undertake their own efforts to meaningfully embed Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives at the service.
After participating in the Community Child Care Association’s RAP working group, coordinator Lisa Heard took the learnings from the discussions back to her service, and implemented changes, which resulted in one family, long term users of the service, feeling safe to come forward and identify as being Aboriginal.
Community Child Care Association launched its first RAP in 2017, with the most recent RAP being identifies as being at the Innovate level, a measure of recognition from Reconciliation Australia for those businesses, organisations and services which have a proven track record of strong relationships with their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stakeholders, and who are ready to take the next step to advance national reconciliation.
To access the Community Child Care Association’s most recent RAP, please see here.
Image features, from left to right:
Marli Traill, Community Child Care Association RAP Coordinator
Lionel Bamblett, Victorian Aboriginal Education Association (VAEAI) General Manager
Julie Price, Community Child Care Association Executive Director
Mark Rose, Deakin University Pro Vice-Chancellor, Indigenous Strategy and Innovation
Uncle Trevor Gallagher, Gunditjmara Elder and Aboriginal Cultural Educator