A new study released by the Federal Government shows education and early childhood learning in Indigenous families is key to maximising their development.


The Foorprints in Time study tracks the long-term development of over 1,400 Indigenous children in 11 separate communities, also collating data with their parents and carers.


Findings from the study’s third wave, released today, shows encouraging results in educational outcomes for Indigenous children, reflecting the Australian Government’s unprecedented investment in early childhood services to help close the gap on Indigenous disadvantage.


About 87 per cent of children surveyed said they find school enjoyable, with most saying they enjoy practising their reading, writing and maths. The study finds most primary carers are involved in their child’s education, helping with homework or other learning activities.


The study also indicates that children who attend preschool or childcare have more developed reading and writing skills, and are better prepared for school. This further highlights the importance of the Government’s Closing the Gap target of ensuring access to early childhood education for all Indigenous four year olds in remote communities within five years.


Since 2008, two cohorts of Indigenous children aged between six months and five years have been monitored, studying critical factors that influence the early development of Indigenous children.


Many Indigenous mothers surveyed see education as an essential part of giving their child the best possible start in life. When discussing aspirations for their children, a good education was the most common response.


Most mothers want their child to finish high school or continue into higher education, with many saying that a good education meant their child could get a good job, and would not have to rely on Government benefits. 


The full report can be found here