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KindiLink is a play-and-learn initiative for three year old Aboriginal children who attend with a parent/carer at 37 selected schools. It is running as a pilot (2016-2018) and will be independently evaluated to inform future directions.
The target group for KindiLink is Aboriginal children in the year prior to them being eligible to attend Kindergarten (i.e: 'three year olds'). Where capacity exists, younger siblings may also attend. Children and families from outside a KindiLink school's catchment area are welcome to participate in KindiLink. Where capacity also exists, and with support from attending families and the local community, non-Aboriginal children and parent/carers may be invited to participate.
The 2015 Australian Early Development Census found that many Aboriginal children in Western Australia were doing well but it also found that 47.5% of Aboriginal children were vulnerable on one or more developmental domains compared with 19.5% of non-Aboriginal children and higher than the national average of 42%. NAPLAN 2015 data indicated that only 66% of Year 3 Aboriginal students in Western Australian public schools met the national minimum standard for reading compared with over 95% of non-Aboriginal students.
Each session is planned and facilitated by an early childhood teacher and Aboriginal and Islander Education Officer who work alongside families. Activities are based on the principles and practices of the Early Years Learning Framework with a range of freely chosen and developmentally appropriate hands-on experiences available.