Koori Preschool offers culturally safe early learning
The Sector > Provider > General News > Koori Preschool offers play based and culturally safe learning for First Nations children

Koori Preschool offers play based and culturally safe learning for First Nations children

by Freya Lucas

July 02, 2024

Koori Preschool provides Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children aged 3 to 5 years with a play-based, culturally safe learning program, and the ACT Department of Education recently spoke with Early Years Engagement Officers Chloe Spratt and Amanda Flemming to learn more. 


Ms Sprartt and Ms Flemming visit Canberra’s five Koori Preschools to meet with families and staff each week, where engaging with parents about their children’s education is central to their role. 


Parents and carers at the ACT Government’s Child and Family Centres get to know them during drop-off and pick-up times and can approach them to discuss support they might need.


Staff at the centres also discuss any concerns with the pair – with consent from the family – which then allows Ms Sprartt and Ms Flemming to link the family to relevant services for support which could include referral into the Child and Family Centres or Child Development Service to assist addressing the individual needs of families.


Both officers are determined to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have a positive experience of school.


“I’ve been an Early Years Engagement Officer for four years and I am very passionate about supporting our children in community and working so closely with the Koori Preschool program,” Ms Spratt said.


Their work to tirelessly to empower families to play an active role in their child’s learning journey has paid off, with enrolments in the Koori Preschool program increasing 26 per cent over the past five years and school readiness among First Nations preschoolers also improving.


Both women regard their work as not just a job, but a calling. 


“Being that person who families feel culturally connected to and feel safe to yarn with is a great sense of belonging in the community,” Ms Flemming said.


“I love that as An Early Years Engagement Officer I can help give the best start to the little Borri and help the families get the support they may need for their family.”


One of the best aspects of her role, she continued, is when she arrives at each service and has children running up to ask her to play or to join them as they learn on Country.


“I enjoy being able to see the Borris go from strength to strength from the early intervention they may be linked into with the child development,” she said.


Koori Preschools operate at five school sites around Canberra, with curriculum aligned with the Early Years Learning Framework:


  • Ngunnawal Primary School
  • Kingsford Smith School
  • Narrabundah Early Childhood School
  • Wanniassa School
  • Richardson Primary School.


Parents and carers can enrol Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in Koori Preschool at any time between the ages of three and five years, and enrolments for 2025 are now open.


For more information about the services and supports available at Child and Family Centres please see here.

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button