Video URL
Thu 1 August 2019
Audio description

Meagan Cook, principal at K-12 school:

“Early start kindergarten is a program that enables three-year-old children to access a fully funded 15 hour a week kinder program across two years.

“The program is intended for students that identify as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, as well as those known to child protection or that may have been involved with other family services.

“I think we all know that the earlier intervention occurs the better the long-term successes are for any student and I think our kinder programs are important for all. But those that are experiencing more vulnerability that may disengage from programs and have difficulties with trust and building relationships, I think that earlier we get to them the better. And the longer we have them with us the better.”

Anthony Semann, Early Learning Consultant:

“We know for children experiencing vulnerability that two years of early childhood education makes a big difference when compared to one year. The more children have access to early childhood programs the better the outcomes, so we should be striving to increase in the dosage of early childhood and ensuring that it's the best for young children.”

Josie Waddingham, Educator:

“Children often learn better from each other than they do from adults so the children who have those skills are able then to practice how you communicate, how you give instructions. We have a lot of children who are now peer tutoring not just the ESK child but all the other children.”

Kay Bryan, Educator:

“If you've got families that are isolated if we can show them that they are part of a community irrespective of what their background is, that then is a positive for the families but it then transfers over to the children.”

Meagan Cook, principal at K-12 school:

“I don't think having early start kinder kids in your program changes any of your planning or programming because it's about teaching to the point of need. And it's about getting to know every single individual child and developing them and looking for what their next points in learning are.

“Whether they’re three-year-old or four-year-old it really doesn't make a difference and I think what shifted the perception of my team at my school has been actually doing it and seeing that that's the reality of the program.”

Michelle Buchanan, Educator:

“In the beginning I was sceptical. We offer a three-year-old program so it made sense to me that a three-year-old child would attend our three-year old program.

“After some convincing and some talks with some professionals I wanted to be open minded and really challenge myself, and I'm forever grateful that I gave myself that opportunity because having seen the progress from this little person that started as a three-year-old to now, the difference is just amazing. And I can see her pride and her confidence.To know that we've helped and assisted in that is just amazing and I'm very, very pleased and proud that we've done that.”

Kay Bryan, Educator:

“I just hope that kindergarten teachers embrace ESK because I've lived it for several years and the benefits are just amazing for all concerned.

Michelle Buchanan, Educator:

“Absolutely give it a go, yep you won't regret it.”