Deloitte Access Economics evaluation shows Indi Kindi is Closing the Gap for Indigenous children

Indi Kindi Evaluation

A newly released evaluation by Deloitte Access Economics on the breakthrough education, health and social impacts of Indi Kindi, has demonstrated that the Indigenous-led early years program is equipping a generation of Indigenous children with the tools to break cycles of disadvantage.

A key finding of the evaluation was the impacts Indi Kindi has on the educational outcomes of Indigenous children.

For instance, in 2012, when Indi Kindi began in Borroloola, 75% of children were developmentally behind in their first year of school. Now more than a decade later, this figure has fallen to 34.2% as a direct result of Indi Kindi.

The report states: “Indi Kindi is a program that has been designed to see infants and children thrive. It is a program that has been designed with the view towards seeing these thriving children go on to become thriving teenagers and thriving adults. Throughout school, these children are further supported through the complementary program John Moriarty Football.”

The evaluation highlighted Indi Kindi’s unique methodology that blends traditional cultural methods with established Western constructs, as an exemplar in the early years sector for Closing the Gap for Indigenous children.

The report states: “When the features of Indi Kindi are compared against the features of early years programs known to be associated with the realisation of outcomes, it is revealed not only that there is close alignment but that in many respects Indi Kindi is an exemplar. Indeed, there are few, if any, examples of single programs that embody the features of leading practice in a remote Indigenous context as comprehensively as Indi Kindi.”

Key findings of the evaluation

  • Since Indi Kindi started, the share of vulnerable children in Borroloola fell from 74% in 2012 to 42% in 2021. These outcomes exceed the outcomes in the larger Gulf region, demonstrating that Borroloola has stronger outcomes than neighbouring communities due to the delivery of Indi Kindi.
  • Borroloola has strong preschool attendance compared to other communities, supported by a deliberate transition approach employed by Indi Kindi.
  • Indi Kindi is associated with direct developmental and educational benefits and a soft entry point into preschool and school.
  • Healthy practices are embedded in the everyday delivery of Indi Kindi, driving health literacy in the early years, and lowering the prevalence of chronic and other health conditions.
  • Indi Kindi provides fulfilling and meaningful employment opportunities for Aboriginal women. 100% of the educators delivering the program are local Aboriginal women. They are all qualified or studying for nationally recognised qualifications.
  • Indi Kindi supports families to have flexibility and agency in how they choose to engage with the program.
  • By placing children at the centre, Indi Kindi is able to have wide ranging impacts on Borroloola, including the intergenerational transmission of culture. A Community Advisory Group made up of local elders ensures cultural leadership.
  • Most children in Borroloola benefit from attending Indi Kindi and attend flexibly according to the needs and choices of their families. Over 80% of children in Borroloola school have attended Indi Kindi in some capacity.
  • Indi Kindi has delivered consistently and flexibly in Borroloola amid inconsistent funding and changing needs.
  • Indi Kindi embodies best practice features across a range of domains, tailored to the context of Borroloola.

“Without more programs like Indi Kindi, there can be no universal access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children; governments have not been able to meet their commitment to address entrenched disadvantage; and developmental measures amongst Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children will continue to decline,” Deloitte Access Economics.

Download a summary of the Indi Kindi evaluation

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