Yappera have a wide variety of programs available to children and their families. We understand the interconnectedness between health and education. All of our programs are designed and underpinned by our holistic approach.
Long Day Care
We offer long day care service, commencing at 8:00am and concluding at 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Yappera have four programs within our service. These are:
- Boorais: 6 months to 2 years
- Joeys: 2 to 3 years
- Wombats: 3 to 4 years
- Crocs: 4 to 5 years
We offer school early start kindergarten for children in our Wombats program (3 to 4 years) and kindergarten for children in our Crocs program (4 to 5 years).
We have two Aboriginal Early Childhood Teachers leading our kindergarten programs – Aunty Aileen Atkinson (Wombats) and Aunty Shona Kelly Briggs (Crocs).
Children enrolled in our early start kindergarten or kindergarten programs may be eligible for the kindergarten fee subsidy, allowing 15 hours of government funded kindergarten each week.
Art, Music and Dance
Yappera brings onsite a number of external specialists and education programs to support children’s learning and development. Currently we offer:
- Art Therapy: encouraging children to visually share their experiences, perceptions, feelings and imagination within a therapeutic context
- Hey Dee Ho Music: a space to sing, dance, play and learn
- One Fire: Uncle Robert Bamblett teaches Aboriginal music, song and dance
- Indigenous Hip Hop Projects: children learn hip hop dancing in an energetic and fun environment. Aboriginal role models/dancers promote healthy lifestyles and important messages including “no shame”
- Deadly Choices: the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service delivers their Deadly Choices program with a focus on sport and healthy choices.
Bush Kinder was developed in response to research that shows outdoor activities in a natural environment are extremely beneficial to children’s health, wellbeing and development.
Our Bush Kinder program takes place at local parklands. Children have to opportunity to connect with and learn about Wurundjeri Country, including land, water, plants and animals.
Bush Kinder operates year-round and is offered to children in our Wombats and Crocs rooms.
Our school readiness initiatives support us to ensure that children at Yappera get the most out of their early learning journey. Currently at Yappera, our school readiness initiatives include:
- The employment of a Family Support Worker, Kim Do, who provides tailored support to families at Yappera based on their needs
- Book gifting program, where children get a new book quarterly to take home and enjoy with their family
- Professional development for Educators, including trauma-informed practice with an Aboriginal psychologist and coaching/reflective practice with an Education consultant
- Occupational therapy for children (commencing in 2020)
- Art therapy, Aboriginal music, song and dance (see “Art, Music, Dance and Sport) and speech therapy (see “Onsite specialist services”)
Yappera thanks the Department of Education and Training who provides us with School Readiness Funding for our school readiness initiatives.
onsite specialist services
We offer a number of onsite specialist services through partnerships with local organisations. Some of these services are available year-round, while others are offered once/twice a year. Currently at Yappera, our onsite specialist services include:
- Audiology testing, in partnership with the University of Melbourne
- Optometry screening, in partnership with the Australian College of Optometry
- Dental checks, in partnership with Your Community Health
- Immunisations, in partnership with Darebin Council
- Speech therapy, in partnership with the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service
- Maternal and child health, in partnership with Darebin Council
Yappera thanks the Department of Health and Human Services who provide us with Korin Korin Balit-Djak Funding for some of our onsite specialist services.
Family and community wellness
Throughout the year, Yappera hosts family and community events focused on health, happiness and healing. Past family events have explored the topics of culture, social and emotional wellbeing, nutrition, physical activity and children’s speech development. Past community events have included a Family Day at Gumbuya World, Elder’s and Grandparent’s Days, Men’s Gatherings and Women’s Gatherings. We invite local Aboriginal people, including Elders, to facilitate yarning/workshops during our events. Where appropriate, we also invite Aboriginal and/or mainstream services and programs to share their work and offerings with families.
Yappera thanks the Department of Health and Human Services who provide us with Korin Korin Balit-Djak Funding for our family and community wellness initiatives.