Publication Date



Aboriginal education, Early childhood education, Educational television


This report is based on a review of the literature on the importance of early childhood learning, the nature of Indigenous learning needs, and the role of educational television programs in improving learning outcomes for preschool-aged children. The report is intended to provide an evidence base for a proposal to develop an educational television program aimed primarily at Indigenous children from three to six years. (In this report the term ‘Indigenous’ refers to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.) There is an extensive body of research that shows the critical importance of early childhood in children’s learning and development, including for long-term educational outcomes. Based on this research and contemporary theories about child pedagogy, Australia now has a national Early Years Learning Framework to guide educators in developing a foundation for future success in learning. One of the underpinning principles of the Framework is to respect diversity of cultural and linguistic traditions. This means recognising the importance of prior learning, and the role of family and community, in preparing Indigenous children for school. In addition, there are several dimensions that are generally recognised as being fundamental to school readiness, regardless of ethnicity, race or culture. These include physical wellbeing and motor development, social and emotional development, approaches to learning, language development, cognition and general knowledge. An additional dimension for Indigenous students is connectedness to community.