Pam Spall is Manager, Research and Evaluation at the Creche and Kindergarten Association. Pam has worked in government, NGOs, as a consultant and NGO Board Director in health and community services. She undertook a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship on child abuse prevention, USA and Canada. Pam has a BSocWk, MBA, PhD, GAICD and served on the QUT Human Research Ethics Committee. Pam was a team member who recently won a QUT excellence award for partnerships.
A Practice Story: Transferring kindergartens from mainstream to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community control (Oral paper Presentation)
It is well recognised that early childhood education and care (ECEC) is a solid investment in providing young children with the best protective start in life. However, research is limited regarding Indigenous families’ ECEC provider preferences and understanding the greater benefits of community controlled Indigenous allied health providers as transformative change agents who are dedicated to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children thriving. With a 111-year history, the Creche and Kindergarten Association (C&K) provides early learning to approximately 1,530 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children across Queensland. Various approaches have been implemented by C&K, a mainstream provider, to early learning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
This paper will briefly critically reflect on those approaches as context, before discussing the drivers, enablers and challenges to the transfer of kindergartens from C&K to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Community Health Service (ASTICHS), a large, community controlled primary health care and community service provider operating in South East Queensland. The benefits identified from the transfer are improved learning, health and wellbeing for children through access to high quality, integrated services, direct engagement and relationships with families, resulting in higher levels of trust, better access and supports, and greater cultural immersion and safety.