Australian-first pilot will set First Nations children up for success in school
The Sector > Policy > Australian-first pilot will set First Nations children up for success in school

Australian-first pilot will set First Nations children up for success in school

by Freya Lucas

February 13, 2023

A $1.9 million Early Learning Teaching Pilot designed to set children up for success in school and throughout life has been announced by the Australian Government. The first of its kind to be undertaken in Australia for children under the age of five, the pilot will occur across 2023, with evaluation activities to continue through the children’s first year of school.


The pilot will be delivered in three early childhood education services across Australia, boosting school readiness outcomes for up to 200 First Nations children through improved literacy and numeracy outcomes. The pilot has been developed in consultation and delivered in partnership with First Nations early childhood education experts and communities, ensuring the program is culturally safe and tailored to community needs based on local expertise.


Designed to complement play-based learning for children in the year before school, the pilot focuses on improving outcomes for children through strengthened professional development, mentoring and feedback support for educators.


The Government has partnered with the University of Melbourne to deliver and evaluate the pilot at three services, the first is Yappera Children’s Service in Thornbury, Victoria, with the remaining sites yet to be announced.


The pilot will play an important role in the Government’s ongoing work on Closing the Gap measures including lifting participation in quality early childhood education and care to boost school readiness and developmental outcomes.


Federal Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly recently visited the first pilot service in Thornbury with Federal Member for Cooper Ged Kearney and Victorian Senator Jana Stewart.


“Early learning is one of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal in Closing the Gap, with this pilot representing a positive step towards improving school readiness outcomes for First Nations children,” Dr Aly said.


“We will look closely at the results of this one-year pilot to see if this measure can be used to benefit even more First Nations children.”


The pilot complements other Closing the Gap measures, including $81.8 million for the expansion of the Connected Beginnings Program to 50 sites by 2025 and the establishment of the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy Partnership.


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