Understanding the level of engagement of Indigenous families in Early Childhood Education in Mount Isa

Project overview

This is a participatory research project which will be undertaken using a realist approach, to examine and explain the perspectives of Indigenous families about early childhood education in Mount Isa and explore where and how improvements can be made to ensure a greater uptake of Early Childhood services and improve outcomes for young people.

The research methodology will use a Mixed Methods approach based on a triangulation perspective. The triangulation includes quantitative information from Government sources such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Queensland Government regional profiles, Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) and the Healthinfonet database, list of programs and services. The qualitative information will include semi-structured interviews to understand the issues that parents/guardians, and community members have with accessing Early Learning Centres.

The observed practices of people and services will be done based on the Indigenous communities’ cultural protocols. The information and ways of working that are observed will be analysed over the whole sample to develop strategies that will encourage consistent attendance. The observations and interviews will identify using a realist approach all the different mechanisms or factors that influence the effective design and delivery of these strategies. This is done to ensure young children in the learning centres are better prepared for Prep.

The project team will develop a toolkit for Early Childhood services, community members and families, to share key findings of the research in a simple, accessible way.

Name of funding body

  • Aboriginal and Islander Development and Recreational Women’s Association Mount Isa and District Inc. (AIDRWA) and the National Indigenous Australian’s Agency (NIAA).


Project dates

  • March 2021 – April 2022

Happy Young Australian Aboriginal Girl smiling as she puts her hands on her head