Helping children thrive in remote Australian communities
© Indi Kindi
Children read together while enjoying a healthy snack at the Indi Kindi program in remote Northern Territory.
This early childhood outreach initiative is delivered on Country and led by women from the local community. Created to help encourage a love of learning and get children ready for school, Indi Kindi brings kids together so they can learn and play in a holistic, culturally appropriate environment. Local languages, health, wellbeing and community development are woven throughout, to help children thrive.
This ground-breaking program is helping to increase the number of Indigenous children benefitting from early-childhood education. The 2020 Closing The Gap Report found that even with a 10 per cent increase in enrolment between 2016 and 2018, the proportion lagged behind non-Indigenous children by four per cent. Indigenous children in very remote areas are 17 per cent less likely to attend than those in inner regional areas.
UNICEF Australia has partnered with the Moriarty Foundation, founders of the Indi Kindi program, to work together to help close the gap by bringing about systemic change and addressing multigenerational disadvantage in remote Aboriginal communities.
Indi Kindi reaches 80 percent of Indigenous children in two of the most remote communities in Australia - Borroloola and Robinson River. Following its success, it has just launched in Tennant Creek, so more children can benefit from the program, while local mothers are offered employment opportunities and training.
One mother involved in the program is Garrawa woman Deandra, who lives with her children in Borroloola. This year, she celebrated five years of working as an Indi Kindi educator. She is also studying for her Certificate 3 in Early Childhood Education and Care through the Batchelor Institute.
Our Play & Learn Packs for Remote Indigenous Communities can help Deandra and her fellow educators to engage children within the program. A few simple items like books and balls can help facilitate the kind of play that builds a child's brain. Early moments matter and every moment counts.