Observing the positive impact of the Aboriginal Families as Teachers program

The Aboriginal Families as Teachers program continues to make a positive impact across NSW by working side by side with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander families with 3–4-year-old children and empowering them to support their children's developmental outcomes.

Key to the success of the Aboriginal Families as Teachers (AFaT) program are the strong partnerships between AFaT providers and local ECE services that build trust and connections with local families.

Senior Aboriginal Policy Officer Tanika Harris manages the Aboriginal Families as Teachers program in the Department of Education and travelled across Wiradjuri country recently to visit several of the AFaT programs.

At Narromine Preschool, educators are supported by Catholic Care to build relationships with families who take part in the AFaT program to transition children into the preschool environment.

“The ongoing engagement and support provided through collaboration between the service and AFaT provider Catholic Care has been pivotal in creating trust and a strong foundation to build relationships with families,” Tanika shared.

“We’ve been able to witness first-hand the value of the AFaT program and the positive impact it is having in the local communities it serves.

"This program provides a crucial service to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents by building their confidence and providing them with the tools they need to support their children’s development.”

Narromine Preschool parent and AFaT participant Shania Sinclair said her relationship with AFaT worker Jaqui Hull boosted her confidence as a parent.

“It’s like a circle of security they offer my family,” Shania said.

“It's something to look forward to and it's good to have that backup, that go-to person for support and help if needed.

“It gives me a strong sense of community, sense of direction and being within culture – I love that so much.”

With 8 Aboriginal Families as Teacher providers across NSW working across 24 locations, more than 1,350 children and families are supported through the program, encouraging early learning and participation in a quality early childhood education program in the years before school.

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