Three-year-old Aboriginal children will be welcomed into kindergarten, and more Child and Parent Centres will be opened, under an expanded early-intervention plan.
Education and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Peter Collier said the changes would further strengthen support for families with young children in the lead up to compulsory schooling.
“The kindergarten program for three-year-old Aboriginal children will be called ‘KindiLink’, and will start next year at 37 schools,” Mr Collier said.
KindiLink will provide play and learn sessions for two hours, three times a week for children and their parents.
“The sessions will be planned and taught by qualified teachers, with parenting support also available,” the Minister said.
KindiLink will be established in 27 schools with existing Aboriginal kindergartens (for four-year-old children) and 10 other schools with large proportions of Aboriginal students.
The State Government will also convert five previously Commonwealth-funded Children and Family Centres into State-run Child and Parent Centres for 2016.
This will bring the total number of Child and Parent Centres across Western Australia to 21, with nine in regional areas.
“These new initiatives build on recent reforms and aim to further lift the overall achievement and wellbeing of young children in Western Australia,” Mr Collier said.
- The five Commonwealth-funded Children and Family Centres were established under a national partnership agreement that has now expired
- KindiLink is a voluntary, pilot program that will initially run for three years
- Recent early education reforms in WA include compulsory pre-primary, on-entry assessment of pre-primary children and increased kindergarten hours
KindiLink pilot sites
- Broome Primary School, Cable Beach Primary School, Derby District High School, Fitzroy Valley District High School, Halls Creek District High School, Kununurra District High School and La Grange Remote Community School in the Kimberley
- Roebourne District High School, South Hedland Primary School, South Newman Primary School and Wickham Primary School in the Pilbara
- Beachlands Primary School, Carnarvon Community College and Meekatharra District High School in the Midwest
- Boulder Primary School, East Kalgoorlie Primary School, Leonora District High School, Nulsen Primary School and Wiluna Remote Community School in the Goldfields
- Bentley Primary School, Brookman Primary School, Challis Community Primary School, Dudley Park Primary School, Gwynne Park Primary School, Hilton Primary School, Lockridge Primary School, Medina Primary School, Moorditj Noongar Community College, Tranby Primary School and Westminster Junior Primary School in Perth
- Avonvale Primary School, Katanning Primary School, Narrogin Primary School and West Northam Primary School in the Wheatbelt
- Amaroo Primary School, Djidi Djidi Aboriginal School and Spencer Park Primary School in the Southwest
Children and Family Centres to become Child and Parent Centres
- Halls Creek
- Fitzroy Crossing
- Swan (Perth)