Children’s Ground programs win praise from Elders in the Top End

Children’s Ground programs win praise from Elders in the Top End

by Freya Lucas

December 23, 2021

Early learning programs delivered by non-profit organisation Children’s Ground in several communities and town camps in and around Alice Springs and the Top End have won praise from community elders and leaders.


The programs aim to emphasise individual strengths by embedding families, Elders and community leaders in early learning environments, NITV News reported. 


By embracing family and culture, children can learn in a culturally safe and supported way, Children’s Ground director Mel Kean explained.


“Everything we do here at Ampe-kenhe Ahelhe… (Arrernte for ‘Children’s Ground’) and across the territory is family-led,” she told NITV from Mparntwe. 


“We are ensuring that every experience children are having is culturally safe, and that is such an important thing for children and our staff.” 


After five years of operation in Alice Springs, the program’s most recent report shows that it is having an impact, with more and more children engaging in formal learning, the majority of which are learning in their first language.


Families report that nearly 90 per cent of children who participated in the program had an improvement in their physical and mental wellbeing. 


“We’re seeing those children engage positively with their learning, with their health, and more importantly with their culture and family…” he told NITV News. 


“It’s really important. It just becomes the norm, as it should be.”


To access the original coverage of this story, see here. Access to the report is available here