Program to kick off in Townsville

A NEW program for Indigenous early childhood teachers in Townsville kicks off this week and will ensure remote Queensland families have access to quality early years services.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the Remote Indigenous Professional Development (RIPD) project was being implemented this year to improve the skills of Indigenous early years educators around the state.

"The program works with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander teachers in remote early childhood services who normally would have limited opportunities for professional training," Mr Langbroek said.

"The program meets the learning needs of entry-level teachers where participants work together on practical activities to develop skills and share ideas with each other.

"Priority is given to Indigenous teachers who speak English as a second language, and those working in Indigenous early childhood services."

The five-day programs, funded by the Federal De partment of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, are taught by leaders in education with practical experience in working with children from birth to five years. 

Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth, Peter Garrett said the Australian Government wanted to make sure that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children have the best start possible.

"This project will help educators in remote Australia to design and deliver better quality programming to help make this happen," Mr Garrett said.

"That's why we are investing $5 million in this project which is targeted at Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators in Queensland, Western Australia and the Northern Territory, many of whom have English as a second or third language.

"The project provides for face to face training, as well as an innovative education toolkit specifically designed for use by Indigenous educators in remote areas.

"This project w ill give early childhood education and care educators working with young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in remote locations the opportunity to build on their knowledge and increase their practical experience."

Mr Langbroek said the leaders take an active role working alongside participants as they become familiar with the national curriculum - the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF) and its implementation in their local remote early childhood service.

The Department of Education, Training and Employment has already delivered successful programs in Rockhampton, Cairns and Torres Strait with further programs planned for the Bamaga and St George in September, Mt Isa in October, and Cherbourg in November.

Professional development programs will be held in:

  • Townsville 6-10 August
  • Bamaga 3-7 September
  • St George 17-21 September
  • Mt Isa 8-12 October
  • Cherbourg 5-9 November

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