Engaging with early childhood education and care services: The perspectives of Indigenous Australian mothers and their young children

Michelle Trudgett, Rebekah Grace


This research contributes to an issue of importance in the current Australian political and research climate - that of the engagement of disadvantaged and marginalised groups of people with early childhood education and care settings. More specifically, this research seeks to understand the barriers and facilitators of engagement for Indigenous families in NSW. Research in this area is important because of recent studies supporting low levels of participation in early childhood services for Indigenous families. A qualitative approach was adopted to capture the experiences of 15 mothers of preschool aged children (3 – 5 years). Thematic analysis revealed a number of themes, the most important across the group being the notion of trust. This research also sought the perspectives of preschool aged children. In total 10 children were interviewed. A clear theme emerged from the child interviews around the importance of feeling connected with an adult worker at the centre they attended. This research also supports the importance of resisting the common practice of viewing Indigenous families as a homogeneous group.

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Kulumun. Journal of the Wollotuka Institute.  ISSN  1839-1257