NT Government doubles down on Families as First Teachers sites
The Northern Territory Government has announced a further 15 Families as First Teachers (FaFT) sites as it seeks to deliver its election commitment of 58 new sites to support parents and family members to become their child’s “first and most important teachers”.
Having doubled the number of sites in the past four years, the recent announcement brings the total number of FaFT sites in the Territory to 55.
“A child’s early years, from birth to age five, are the most developmentally important in their lives and are critical for preparing them for success at school and into adulthood,” The Territory’s Chief Minister Michael Gunner said.
“That’s why we have delivered on the promised expansion of our FaFT program, which helps all our Territory children to be ready for day one of school, no matter where they live.”
““FaFT is an important program not just for our littlest Territorians, but for parents and families, who are a child’s first teachers.”
The vast majority of FaFT sites are located in remote communities, with more than 2,000 children and families using this service. In addition to supporting families to build their child’s early literacy and numeracy through adult-child interaction, the program helps establish good attendance habits from early on, which enables children to be better prepared for day one of school.
Thus far the Territory Labor Government has spent $5.6 million to expand FaFT to 55 sites around the Territory, with 46 in remote communities and nine in urban settings.
“Being ready for day one of school is essential. It shapes a child’s ability to thrive educationally, to stay healthy and to be socially connected,” NT Minister for Education Lauren Moss noted.
More than half of all FaFT employees are Aboriginal, which has provided local job opportunities in communities and pathways for Aboriginal Territorians to pursue a career in early childhood services and in education.
As well as providing opportunities for employment, Ms Moss said, the employee balance ensures that the program is delivered with cultural sensitivity, and in a way that helps keep local language and culture strong.
FaFT funding is part of a $35.6 million Territory Government investment in early childhood development, following the release of its 10 year Starting Early for A Better Future Early Childhood Development Plan in 2017.
A full list of current and pending FaFT sites appears at the end of this article. For further information on FaFT, please see here.
Northern Territory FaFT Sites
*New sites in 2020
**Further sites to come
- Harts Range*
- Walungurru (Kintore)*
- Sadadeen *
- Tennant Creek
- Canteen Creek*
- Katherine (MacFarlane)
- Robinson River*
- Wurrumiyanga (Nguiu)
- Laynhapuy Homelands
- Mimik-ga Centre
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