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Sandra

Sandra Lascelles

Year of Award: 2015 Award State: Queensland Education > Early Childhood
Social Welfare > Indigenous
The Nancy Fairfax Churchill Fellowship to explore factors for the participation of Indigenous families in accessing early childhood programs - Canada, USA
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The Fellowship identified, that early childhood education and care services work best for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples when there is a community approach. Evidence demonstrates the important role of community Elders in decision-making, family support and sharing of knowledge should be recognised and supported. A strengths based approach should be used to value and develop the skills and strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities. 

 

Recommendations include:

  • Promoting community and cultural leadership and relationships that provide acceptance and family engagement with a service. This needs to have substance rather than a tokenistic value. The employment of community liaison people who build bridges between families and services and are able to refer to services within the community, as well as assist families to overcome these barriers to participation. 
  • Early years programs that are well-resourced and based on sound evidence.
  • Qualified and culturally competent educators who receive appropriate staff training and support. This should include supporting Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people to train and be employed in services.
  •  Further exploration into and the promotion for the use of multi-age groupings.
  • Introduction and promotion of programs to assist with behaviour and the development of empathy. The Seeds of Empathy is already running in several countries since 1996 and has an evidence base.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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