Our Aboriginal Early Education and Care (ECEC) Unit manages a range of programs and projects that improve educational outcomes for Aboriginal children, families and communities.
As Aboriginal people are the Traditional Custodians of NSW, we refer to Aboriginal people. The department’s Aboriginal programs and services are available, without question, to Torres Strait Islander peoples.
Our programs and projects align with the First Steps Strategy (the Strategy) and contributes to achieving its goals and targets, involving:
- engaging and working with Aboriginal children, their families and communities
- offering a culturally safe learning environment where:
- Aboriginal children can prosper
- all children have the opportunity to learn the rich cultures, languages and histories of Aboriginal peoples.
The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Education and Care unit consists of four teams.
- Cultures and Languages
- Community Engagement and Outcomes
Strategy and programs
We support Aboriginal children's learning and development through strategy and programs, including:
First Steps – the NSW Aboriginal Children’s Early Childhood Education Strategy 2021-2025 - our Strategy to ensure the best educational outcomes for Aboriginal children aged 0-5
Aboriginal Families as Teachers - to help Aboriginal families build a rich home learning environment
Ninganah No More - to increase the level of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages taught in early childhood education and care services
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood education and care scholarships - to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander ECEC educators in NSW.
- Sector Strengthening Partner - to support and grow the number of ACCOs delivering quality ECE to Aboriginal children in NSW.
Information for services
Supporting Aboriginal children
Need guidance on implementing the National Quality Framework? Access our resources on supporting Aboriginal children.
Engaging with Aboriginal people
Your service can connect with local Aboriginal families and communities by:
attending local meetings to get local advice on Aboriginal education
employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff
inviting and paying local Aboriginal community members and Elders to run workshops, do storytelling and more
providing an environment that is culturally appropriate.
Making services culturally appropriate
You can make your service more culturally appropriate by considering:
raising the Aboriginal flag and Torres Strait Islander flag
using local Aboriginal languages in welcome signs, room names and in your teaching
displaying local Aboriginal artwork
using Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander resources
having staff attend Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural awareness training
having an understanding of Aboriginal English and bidialectal teaching strategies
celebrating Aboriginal culture, people and history and involving the Aboriginal community and families in organising events.
Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children - resources for services that provide education and care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
SNAICC - the national non-government peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
The Dreaming Stories- an animation series and teaching resource based on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander storytelling.
National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) - news and teaching resources related to NAIDOC week.
The Indigenous Literacy Foundation– a book industry charity dedicated to lifting literacy levels in remote Indigenous communities.
Free books by and about Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples - from the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature.
The Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation – a foundation dedicated to raising language, literacy and numeracy standards in Australia.
Have a question? To get in touch with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Education and Care team you can:
- email ECE.firstname.lastname@example.org
- call 1800 619 113.