Funded by the National Indigenous Australians Agency in partnership with SNAICC
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have the right to thrive and to grow up healthy, supported by strong families, and proud in culture.
Across Australia, families and communities successfully support and nurture their young children. However, wide gaps in early development, health and early learning outcomes persist. Young children continue to be removed from their families and cultures through child safety intervention.
For years, SNAICC, as well as other stakeholders and experts, called for a national approach where governments, systems and services work together to improve early childhood outcomes. In February 2020, the Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP, announced the development of a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Strategy.
Launched on Wednesday 8 December at the 9th SNAICC National Conference, the development of the Strategy was guided by conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families; and Aboriginal-led organisations and services in the early childhood, care and development sectors.
Our people know best, and this framework recognises and builds on Aboriginal-led solutions for us to continue to improve the early years experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children,” SNAICC Chairperson Muriel Bamblett said.
“The Strategy – the first of its kind in Australia – supports our children to grow up happy, healthy and strong in their early years, and ensure they have the opportunity to have the best start in life.”
SNAICC and the strategy leadership group worked in partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to support a whole-of-government approach that brings together maternal and child health, housing, early education and care, disability, family and parenting supports, and child and family services.
The Strategy will align with the National Agreement on Closing the Gap, supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and their community-controlled services to lead the responses to children’s needs. It will address outcomes across all aspects of young children’s lives, including early learning, health, disability, wellbeing, care and development.
SNAICC media release – 8 December 2021: Continuing the songlines – SNAICC welcomes national strategy for our children in their early years
Australian Government media release – 8 December 2021: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Strategy Released
Conversations with communities
We have finalised our extensive consultation process that enabled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander organisations, communities and caregivers to have a strong voice in developing the Strategy.
We heard from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people about ways to help our young children to stay strong in culture, be healthy, safe, and ready for school.
We also heard from people that work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, in both community-controlled and non-Indigenous organisations, to make sure the Strategy achieves the best outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in their early years.
This Strategy reflects the views of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, families, communities and organisations who participated in the national consultation process by sharing their experiences,
concerns, and aspirations for the future wellbeing of their children. Read our Consultation Report which outlines the process in developing the Strategy.
Working in partnership
Working with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people is central to the development of the Strategy.
SNAICC, as the national peak body for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, is working in partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA).
Together, we have developed a framework to inform the Strategy.
SNAICC undertook consultations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, families and communities, service providers and other experts.
See the Framework five priority areas
Read our joint media release 20 April 2021: Growing our kids in family and culture – a National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Strategy
Our consultation process has now closed.
Read our Consultation Guide for more details on how community members contributed.