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Darebin Kinder and Yappera Children's Services Open Month

Shona Kelly-Briggs is a Yorta Yorta, Mutthi Mutthi, and Gunditjmara woman. Shona works at the Yappera Children's Services as an Early Childhood Teacher, which is a not-for-profit, Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation (ACCO). Yappera opened in 1981 and provides high quality, culturally grounded and holistic health, and education programs. It offers an education and service, as well as a range of health and wellbeing programs and services for children and their families.

Yappera says; “Yappera, meaning “Belonging Place”, is a gathering, learning and wellbeing space for Aboriginal children and their parents, carers, families, and community in Melbourne. We are grateful for the strong governance, leadership, passionate staff and determined community that has supported Yappera to grow into the service we are today; now with capacity to support 60 Aboriginal children and their families every weekday.”

Yvette Higgins is from the City of Darebin and is a Best Start project Leader for Families, Youth and Children.

“Best Start is a Victorian Government early year, place-based initiative that is funded and administered by the Department of Education and Training to support families, caregivers, and communities in providing the best possible environment, experiences, and care for children from birth to eight years of age. Communities and service providers collaborate to address issues as they are experienced at a neighbourhood level.”

The City of Darebin have said the aim of “The Darebin Best Start program is to focus on children experiencing vulnerability and all Aboriginal children to ensure all children have access to quality early childhood experiences through maternal and child health services, Supported Playgroups, and kindergartens. The Darebin Best Start partnerships use local data and community knowledge to identify those who are experiencing vulnerability within the City of Darebin.”

Shona and Yvette talk about May being the month of Open Nights for both the Yappera Children's Services and Darebin Kindergarten. Yappera have two dates available to come and have a look at the play spaces and have a yarn to find out more about their Early Start Kindergarten and Kindergarten Programs.

Monday 17th May 5-7pm and

Wednesday 26th May 5-7pm

To register your interest email Kim Do at or call (03) 9416 8787

In order to enrol at Yappera, your child must:

  • Identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander

  • Be up to date with their immunisations, or provide evidence of medical exemption

  • Must be eligible for Childcare subsidy.

For the Darebin Kindergarten Open Month you can discover your child's options for 3 and 4- year-old kindergarten. You can get in touch with kindergartens and child care services during May by booking in a visit.

For more information visit


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