Minya Porlar Creche celebrates 21 years of providing care and supporting culture for children

Minya Porlar Creche celebrates 21 years of providing care and supporting culture for children

by Freya Lucas

May 24, 2022

Minya Porlar Creche in South Australia’s Murray Bridge is celebrating 21 years of caring for children and connecting them to culture. 


Run by ac.care, the service offers early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to the Aboriginal community and vulnerable families in Murray Bridge.


Due to COVID-19 the service was unable to celebrate their 20th birthday and instead was celebrating 21 years of delivering early childhood education and care, Meri Daniel, ac.care’s children’s services director said.


Speaking with local paper Murray Valley Standard Ms Daniel, who has worked for ac.care for 20 years, said she has seen the importance of offering tailored and culturally-appropriate care to vulnerable children, and supporting parents to work, secure employment or study.


“I’ve seen families come back around with the next generation over that time and also many staff complete training and continue to work at the creche or contribute to the broader community in health or education thanks to the training provided as part of their employment,” Ms Daniel shared.


Alongside the commitment to support children, the service provides career opportunities for community members. 


Children attending the creche participate in an Aboriginal specific child care program and experience local language, and are supported through natural play environments, a nutrition program, and cultural experiences which support children’s learning about the Ngarrindjeri nation on which the creche operates.


Senior Aboriginal advisor of ac.care, Kathy Rigney, oversees the program of culturally-appropriate care, who said she has “so much respect” for the service as an Aboriginal creche, and for the staff that work there. 


“Sharing language, knowledge, stories and history with our children is important,” Ms Rigney said. “It is great to see the kids speaking some of the language and singing in Ngarrindjeri.”


Parents are supported with a range of wrap-around services including a bus service to bring the children to and from care, which also allows educators to take children out into the community. 


The Department of Employment, Skills and Education provides funding to support the service under the auspices of ac.care. The creche operates Monday to Friday from 8.15am to 5.15pm and offers subsidies to offset out of pocket fees for parents.


To view a video of the celebration please see here. For the original coverage of this story, see here.