Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families

Naidoc Week

Naidoc Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.


For further information regarding how you can celebrate NAIDOC, history of NAIDOC, National NAIDOC please visit the NAIDOC website www.naidoc.org.au


Koorie Kids Shine at Kindergarten

Enrol your child now – it’s not too late, and it’s free!

Early learning sets children up for a bright future by teaching them skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.

Kindergarten will help your child:

– Build their sense of identity

– Explore how they fit into the world around them

– Learn how to communicate with others

– Strengthen their physical, social and emotional wellbeing

– Promote confidence in learning and trying new things

Kindergarten teachers work to nurture and respect children’s cultural identity.

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who turn 3 or 4 years old by 30 April, can attend kindergarten for 15 hours per week for free.

For more information please visit the Department of Education and Training website 

Frequently Asked Questions About Koorie Kids Shine at Kindergarten

What is KooriE Kids Shine at Kindergarten?

Koorie Kids Shine at Kindergarten is a campaign to raise awareness of the value of early childhood education, and the support (including government grants) available for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to attend kindergarten.

Should my child go to kindergarten?

Research shows that all children benefit  from attending kindergarten.

A quality early childhood education not only helps children transition to school, it has positive impacts throughout their entire education. Long-term studies have shown that children who attend preschool education have improved preschool education have improved job prospects and higher wages when they enter the workforce.

Attending early start means more time at kindergarten, giving your child the best possible start to their education.

In 2015 in Victoria, 8 in 10 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander four-year-olds attended kindergarten. Only 4 in 10 three-year-olds were enrolled using the Early Start Kindergarten grant in March 2016.

What can I expect from kindergarten?

Kindergarten fosters your child’s development and supports their connections to people and community. It provides an environment that is welcoming to all cultures.

Koorie Engagement Support Officers (KESOs) are available to work with kindergartens to help ensure that your child’s experience at kindergarten is inclusive and respectful of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture.

Does Koorie Kids Shine provide funding for kindergarten?

Not directly, but through Koorie Kids Shine we’re promoting the grants available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children – Early Start Kindergarten, Early Start Kindergarten extension and the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy.

These grants provide three and four-year old children with free kindergarten for up to 15 hours per week. If eligible, your child can access two years of free kindergarten before school.

Is my child eligible for a grant?

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who turn three by 30 April are eligible for Early Start Kindergarten.

All Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who turn four by 30 April are eligible for either the Kindergarten Fee Subsidy of Early Start Kindergarten extension.

Is my child eligible for a kindergarten grant if they attend long day care?

Early Start Kindergarten and Early Start Kindergarten extension can be used to cover the cost of the kindergarten program in long day care. These grants can be used together with the Child Care Benefit and Special Child Care Benefit.

Long day care services may charge you for any hours of care they provide additional to the 15 hours of free kindergarten.

The Kindergarten Free Subsidy cannot be used together with Child Care Benefits at long day care.

How do I apply for a grant?

Your kindergarten provider applies for these grants on your behalf. The funding goes straight to the service.

How will the kindergarten know that my child is eligible?

Simply speak to your kindergarten and let staff know that your child is Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander.

Koorie Preschool Assistant (KPSA’s) can help you enrol your child into kindergarten.

Koorie Engagement Support Officers (KESO’s) can, with your permission, advise the service that your child is eligible for a grant.

If your kindergarten is unsure about funding, they can contact their nearest Department of Education and Training office.

Where can I find more information and support?

A Koorie Engagement Support Officer (KESO) from your nearest Department of Education and Training office can help you find a kindergarten service or child care centre in your area and enrol your child.

They can also provide you with information about Koorie Kids Shine and available grants.

KESO contact details, and further information, are available from the Department of Education and Training website  or call 03 5440 3111

Resources for children

All Shine Bright EYM Kindergartens are resourced with a Cultural Activity Kit which includes the ‘Cultural Activity Book’ and 13 different Aboriginal Torres Strait Islander activities from across Australia.



Emu Callers

An Emu Caller


Bartja and Mayila book and 2 puppets

Ochre Painting 

Aboriginal Symbols Template


Tarrengower and Lalgambook Storybook

The Long Necked Turtle 

Story on A4 page and painted canvas 


The Frog who wouldn’t Laugh Storybook

Murray River 

How the Murray River Was Made Storybook


The Echidna And The Shade Tree Storybook


How The Birds Got Their Colours Storybook

Prints in Sand

Yorta Yorta Symbols/Map


Dja Dja Wurrung Settlement Map


Aboriginal Symbols Template

Taba Naba

2 Girl Dresses, 2 Lava Lavas, 2 Kulap Shakers

You will also find on the shelves;

‘I Love Me’ By Sally Morgan

‘Where is Galah’ By Sally Morgan

‘Marngarook’ By Titta Secombe and Grace Fielding

‘Welcome To My Country’ By Aunty Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy


Nature Jewelry

Deadlys colouring images with Yorta Yorta Language

National Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander Children's Day

National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day is the largest national day to celebrate our children.

Children’s Day is held on 4 August each year and is coordinated by SNAICC.

Koorie Pre-school Assistants Program

The KPSA worker will work within kindergartens and Koori communities to;

  • Improve opportunities for Koorie children to take part in kindergartens
  • Support and encourage kindergartens in the deliver of Koori inclusive programs
  • Provide information and support to Koorie families and communities e.g filling in enrolment forms
  • Support the attendance of Koorie children in kindergarten programs
  • Encourage the involvement and participation of Koorie parent/families/carers in the development of kindergarten programs
  • Assist in the development of kindergarten programs that embrace Koorie culture.

For more information please contact and ask for the KPSA at; 

Bendigo and District Aboriginal Co-operative Ph: 03 5442 4947

Echuca Berimba Childcare Centre Ph: 5481 1900

Swan Hill, Kunawaa Preschool Ph: 5032 3600

Indigenous Advancement Strategy

Shine Bright EYM is embarking on an exciting new project to encourage and support the participation of indigenous families and children in Kindergarten.

We will aim to achieve the project by building strong relationships with local indigenous communities and by continuing to develop informative and interactive educational pathways that embrace indigenous culture, community and understanding.

Indigenous Advancement Strategy Flyer (223 KB)

Reconciliation Action Plan

Shine Bright EYM acknowledges current and past injustices inflicted upon the Australia’s First Nations People. We would like to move forward with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community, both within our regions and across Australia.

Click Here to view our Reconciliation Action Plan.

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