Aboriginal Families as Teachers

Program Overview

In the early years, families are the primary influence on children’s learning. The Aboriginal Families as Teachers program aims to strengthen the ability of Aboriginal families to build a rich home learning environment. This supports active participation in early childhood education.

Through working directly with families and collaborating with early childhood education services, the Aboriginal Families as Teachers program has been developed to encourage early learning and participation in a quality early childhood education program in the years before school.

Community based not-for-profit organisations and local councils with links to local early childhood education services and experience  working with Aboriginal families, and with children aged 0-5, are encouraged to apply.

The total program budget for the Aboriginal Families as Teachers program is $1 million.

Objectives

The program has five core objectives:

  • support Aboriginal families to provide developmentally rich home learning environments for young children birth to five years
  • promote literacy and numeracy rich home learning environments
  • build families’ confidence in their ability to support the healthy development and learning of their children
  • support Aboriginal children and their families for successful transitions to school
  • promote the importance of early childhood education within families and communities, including participation in a quality early childhood education program for 600 hours in the year before school (at a minimum).

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible to apply for the Aboriginal Families as Teachers program, organisations must meet the following criteria:

  • be a not-for-profit organisation or local government entity or body
  • have the program activities developed by a certificate III or diploma qualified early childhood educator, early childhood education teacher, or other person with a relevant tertiary qualification.

Organisations will also be assessed against the following assessment criteria:

  • previous experience working with Aboriginal families and communities
  • previous experience working with families with children aged 0-5
  • established links with early childhood education providers in the community in which the program is proposed

Application Process

Applications are open in SmartyGrants between 11 April 2018 – 11 May 2018.

The application will require:

  • a detailed program description, including how the program aligns with the Aboriginal Families as Teachers objectives
  • a statement outlining how the program meets the program requirements (see section 5 below)
  • evidence of collaboration with early childhood education services, including how the program aims to increase participation in early childhood education
  • a detailed program budget, including applicant’s contribution and any additional sources of funding
  • evidence of community demand for the program, including evidence of identified number of children aged birth to five years in the community whose families are not currently participating in a similar program
  • evidence of consultation with the local Aboriginal community
  • evidence of appropriate governance mechanisms and sound financial management.

Program requirements

Organisations will be required to demonstrate in the application process that their program contains the following features:
  • structured but flexible to respond to the needs of families, children and the community
  • family-centred
  • strengths-based and culturally appropriate (recognising and building on the strengths of Aboriginal culture and ways of teaching young children)
  • activities are developed by a certificate III or diploma qualified early childhood educator, early childhood education teacher, or other person with a relevant tertiary qualification
  • faciltiates links with early childhood services in the community, including participation in 600 hours of early childhood education in the year before school (at a minimum).
  • engages and sustains partnerships with community stakeholders to support the capacity of families to enhance early development outcomes for children birth to five years.

Priority of Funding

The department will conduct an initial eligibility check to confirm eligibility. Ineligible applicants will not proceed and will be advised of the outcome.

Applications may be assessed against the assessment criteria outlined in section 3. Applications that meet the required level of capability will then be assessed against the program priorities.

The department will prioritise applications according to:

  • the degree of demonstrated collaboration with early childhood education services in the community for which the program is proposed
  • the ability of the applicant to demonstrate the inclusion of Aboriginal families in the design and delivery of the program
  • the population of Aboriginal families in the area for which funding is sought
  • the level of developmental vulnerability in the community
  • the demostrated local cultural competence of the applicant
  • the availability of a similar program in the community for which the application is made

The maximum funding period will be through to the end of 2018/19 financial year.

Funding cannot be used to replace existing funding sources.

Timing

Applications open between 11 April 2018 and 11 May 2018. Applications will be assessed in May 2018 with successful applicants notified in June 2018. Successful applicants must agree to comply with the Terms and Conditions of the Early Childhood Education Grants Program and will be expected to implement and report on programs between July 2018 and June 2019. Funding will be provided in two equal instalments with the first instalment paid in June 2018.

Monitoring and evaluation

The department will monitor and evaluate the implementation of programs funded under Aboriginal Families as Teachers. Funded organisations will be required to provide information to help with this evaluation.

Contact details

For more information about the Aboriginal Families as Teachers program, please contact the Aboriginal Services team at the department's Early Childhood Education Directorate:

Email: AboriginalprogramsECED@det.nsw.edu.au

Phone: 1300 755 426

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