Why is it important?

Two girls at Lulla’s Children and Family Centre

The majority of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are thriving and growing up strong in their cultures, with support from their families and communities.

However, some of our First Nations children still face ongoing challenges that stem from colonisation and its effects, including discrimination, poverty, systemic removal, intergenerational trauma, dislocation from land and culture, and community disempowerment.

Achieving equality would require redressing these challenges through a holistic approach that addresses all aspects that are important to children’s wellbeing, safety and development.

We know that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are twice as likely to be developmentally vulnerable early in life, and only half as likely to access early education as non-Indigenous children. Children who are developmentally vulnerable are less likely to do well at school, and are more likely to leave school early and have poorer life outcomes.

This Children’s Day our theme is We Play, We Learn, We Belong, promoting the critical importance of early years education for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. SNAICC is advocating for two key strategies to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the early years:

  • Integrated, family-focused support programs that impact the home learning environment; and
  • High-quality early education.

You can learn more about it by reading SNAICC’s early years position paper.