Koorie Kids Shine lunch packs given to Vic First Nations children to promote early learning
Victorian Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt recently visited Lulla’s Children and Family Centre in Shepparton on National Close the Gap Day to unveil the Koorie Kids Shine lunch packs, which will be given to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Victorian kindergartens to start conversations about the importance of early years education.
The Koorie Kids Shine initiative signifies the importance of Aboriginal culture and supports greater kinder participation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children – promoting access to 15 hours of free or low-cost kindergarten every week in the two years before school.
Proud Yorta-Yorta, Gunai-Kurnai, Dja Dja Wurrung, Boonwurrung, Taungurung and Baraparapa Aboriginal artist Kamara Morgan has designed the artwork for the lunch pack, postcard and magnetic photo frame for children to take home and enjoy. The artwork centres around three meeting places representing Koorie parents, children and educators coming together for a lifelong journey through education – and will feature across the Koorie Kids Shine materials to reflect development, growth and learning, with markings showing connection to Country through play, song and dance.
“It’s fantastic to launch these gorgeous, Aboriginal-designed lunch packs to encourage our Koorie communities to get their kids into a kinder program in an environment that is supported by community and culture,” Ms Stitt said.
An advertising campaign has also been launched across screens, print and radio, aimed at Aboriginal audiences, to improve awareness of the benefits of kinder, and to encourage Aboriginal children to participate.
The rate of participation of Aboriginal children in kindergarten continues to be strong in both Three and Four-YearOld programs, and is enhanced by dozens of kindergartens offering Victorian Aboriginal languages as part of the Labor Government’s Early Childhood Language initiative.
To provide educators to support the increased participation the Victorian Government’s Early Childhood Scholarship and Incentives Program is delivering up to $34,000 for Aboriginal Pathway recipients – in addition to the signature Free TAFE programs – encouraging Aboriginal Victorians to become early childhood educators.
To find out more about the Koorie Kids Shine program please see here.
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