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Deadly Kindies give Indigenous children a great start

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Education Minister Kate Jones and ambassador Johnathan Thurston has officially launched a new campaign to get more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander enrolments in kindergarten.

Ms Jones said ‘Deadly Kindies’ – launched at C&KKoobara Aboriginal and Islander Kindergarten in Zillmere – was about giving Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children a better start to health and education.

“We want all Queensland children to get the best start to their education,” Ms Jones said.

“Deadly Kindies will encourage families to register their interest for kindy at their three and four-year-old’s health check.

“Families will be given an opportunity to register their young children for kindy and they will also receive a free Deadly Kindy Kit.

“The Kit includes kindy backpack, hat, blanket, sheet, lunchbox, library bag, water bottle and T-shirt.

“Families will also receive any necessary support and information they need to go ahead and enrol in a local kindergarten.

“The program ensures each child receives any health care required as a result of their eye, ear and other physical health assessment, which in turn ensures they can maximise their learning at kindy.“

Ms Jones said the Palaszczuk Government had invested $1.5 million to deliver the program through the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health.

“The campaign’s strength lies in its holistic approach to supporting Indigenous children, by linking better start to health with a better start to education,” she said.

“Deadly Kindies is part of our efforts to increase Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kindergarten participation in Queensland to at least 95 per cent by 2018, up from 93.1 per cent in 2016.

“I thank football star Johnathan Thurston and netball star Beryl Friday for their invaluable support as official ambassadors for the Deadly Kindies campaign.”

IUIH CEO Adrian Carson said Deadly Kindies recognised the importance of education as a key social determinant of health.

“We know that getting kids prepared for and engaged in education directly impacts the health and wellbeing of themselves, their families and their communities long into the future,” he said.

“And while these Kindy Kits give kids all the items they need for a day at kindy, making sure they are kindy-ready also relies on providing them with access to the range of services available through the IUIH Model of Care.

“Such services include speech therapy, audiology and eye health checks to make sure they can participate and develop the skills they will need when they go to school.

“We are already experiencing huge demand for the Deadly Kindykits.

“Thanks to the support of ambassadors Johnathan Thurston and Beryl Friday, we are looking forward to this campaign resulting in more kids being up to date with their health checks, more kids being able to access additional health services they need, and more kids enrolling in kindy.”

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