Access to early learning set to improve in remote Indigenous communities
Families in a dozen of Australia’s most remote Indigenous communities will receive more support to access quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) under the Government’s new childcare package, Federal Minister for Education Dan Tehan has said.
In an announcement issued on Friday, the Federal Government committed $278 million under the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) to support approximately 900 childcare services to transition into the new childcare arrangements.
The CCCF was established as part of the new childcare package and was designed to act as a safety net to support, in particular, in disadvantaged or vulnerable communities, the continuity of care where service viability was outside the control of the service.
Mr Tehan also confirmed that $25 million in funding was available to assist 12 childcare providers in remote Australia to boost Indigenous participation in ECEC, over and above funding committed to within the new childcare package and represents a return in part to the block funding model that the new package was designed to replace.
“We’re getting behind the families who live in remote communities where access to quality, reliable early learning and childcare isn’t always guaranteed,” Mr Tehan said.
“We understand the important work many of these services have been doing, so they now have additional support to help give local kids their best start in life.”
Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion said because the services primarily delivered childcare they were transitioning to the new childcare package and the CCCF instead of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.
“From January 2019, families who use these services will have access to the same subsidies that assist other Australian families with the cost of childcare and early learning, and we hope to see growing numbers of kids enrolling,” Mr Scullion said.
Mr Tehan noted that many of the services will be receiving ‘per child subsidies’ for the first time, saying regular reviews have been established to gauge whether the service collected the expected level of subsidy or whether top-up funding needs to be considered to ensure their ongoing viability.
Details about the CCCF are available here