Supporting relationships with Aboriginal children through language

How preschools can support Aboriginal children and communities through Indigenous language programs.

Kulai Preschool Aboriginal Corporation

Communication is key to good relationships. Providing opportunities for Aboriginal children to engage with their Indigenous language builds trust and connection between educators and children.

Kulai Preschool has been supporting Aboriginal children and communities in Garlimbirla (Coffs Harbour region) through their Indigenous language program. The program provides an opportunity for Aboriginal culture and identity to be developed and nurtured in the earliest stage of formal education.

The local language 'Gumbaynggirr' is being preserved through children participating in several lessons a week, with some lessons conducted entirely in the language. The program is funded through the department’s Ninganah No More initiative and is run in collaboration with Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan. Strong connections have been developed because of the program and it is highly regarded throughout the community.

Teaching an Indigenous language in preschool

Kulai Preschool also recognised the importance of continuing children’s learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. To support this, they implemented several initiatives to maintain connections with families, including creating take home learning packs which families could collect or get delivered and providing regular updates and support to families through their Facebook page.

Image: Gumbayngirr language pack

Resources for services

We understand the impact that COVID-19 has had, particularly on our most vulnerable communities.

To support these communities and services we’ve produced a flyer that can be shared with Aboriginal families from your service to:

  • Explain the importance of children re-engaging in early childhood education and care post-COVID.
  • Help families understand that services are doing everything they can to keep their children safe when returning.

We’ve also updated the Supporting Aboriginal Children webpage with resources on how to run a deadly preschool program in a way that recognises and respects Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

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