To help spread the kindy message, we spoke to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders, educators and community members about the benefits of kindy for little ones.
Elders as Storytellers
With deepest respect, we share the stories of our Elders, and acknowledge the Traditional Owners of this land. Walk with us as we share the early learning journey with stories from across Queensland.
Aunty Honor Cleary
Aunty Honor Cleary has many years of experience in early childhood education. For more than 3 decades, Aunty Honor worked at Yelangi Preschool, an early childhood service in Brisbane.
She has been awarded an Honorary Doctorate from the Central Queensland University for her services to the community and education.
Aunty Honor said the skills children learn at kindy gave them the best preparation for school.
'In my experience of 34 years, I think it's very important that kids go to kindy,' she said.
'Children learn to play and share in a safe environment.
'They learn to write their names, count and follow a routine - all the things they need to prepare for school.'
Listen to Aunty Honor talk about her experience in early childhood education and why kindergarten is important for little ones.
Aunty Honor shares the benefits of kindy.
Aunty Wasie Tardent
Torres Strait Islander Elder Aunty Wasie Tardent was one of the first teachers to start kindergarten in the Torres Strait.
We visited this kindergarten on Thursday Island, where Aunty Wasie shared stories of her early career and her philosophy on early childhood education.
'There were only 5 children here when I started,' Aunty Wasie said.
'It looks so different now.'
'Parents are the first teachers at home to help the children before they send them to kindy and even when they go down playing on the beach, they can count shells and things like that,' she said.
'There are lots of things parents can do to help them.'
Watch Aunty Wasie share her thoughts on the importance of kindy and her experiences as a kindergarten teacher in the Torres Strait.
Kindy counts! In the Torres Strait.
Ray Sambo is a strong advocate of early years education for little ones. A long-time resident of Cairns and proud father and grandfather, Ray has spent many years working alongside Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and has seen the extensive benefits that kindy can bring.
'I have seen it in my own children and my grandchildren,' says Ray. 'They're like little sponges, they're picking up so much. You see the excitement on their faces when they come home.'
Ray says that a great kindy can make a big difference to a child.
'Parents play an important part in their child's education. They're the first teachers of their children. But it's the partnership with kindy that takes them to that next step. I would encourage all parents to enrol their child in kindy.'
Watch Ray Sambo talk about the benefits of kindy participation.
Ray Sambo talks about the benefits of kindy.
The kindy songline
The kindy songline is about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture and the importance of kindy for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The songline tells the story of a child's time at kindy and how their family and community are an important part of their kindy experience.