SNAICC releases Annual Report: progress in early years initiatives despite pandemic
SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children has released its 2020-21 annual report, showcasing the work undertaken in the past 12 months (July 2020 to June 2021).
Reflecting on “an incredible and significant year” spent responding to the challenges and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the report also notes the momentous change in the policy landscape with the new National Agreement on Closing the Gap coming into place with high-level commitments to reform the systems and services impacting First Nations children and families.
The annual report provides insights into SNAICC’s projects, services, and resources, as well as the support SNAICC offers through training, policy, partnerships, communications and finances, also covering the Family Matters and National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day campaigns and more.
The report also an update on SNAICC’s work in championing Aboriginal-led initiatives in the early years.
The COVID-19 pandemic created a rapidly changing policy environment for Aboriginal-led early years services, the report notes, and SNAICC continued its call for access to early education and care to be made a priority for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
In August 2020, SNAICC submitted Federal Budget proposals for early childhood education and care (ECEC), calling for a minimum entitlement of 30 hours per week of 95 per cent subsidised care per week for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, as well as the funding of a sector development initiative to support the capacity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood services to deliver quality care and development supports.
In May 2021, SNAICC welcomed the Australian Government’s Budget announcement that increased investment in ECEC. Further early childhood investments were announced in August 2021 as part of the Commonwealth Implementation Plan for the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.
These reforms included expanding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled early childhood services through the Community Child Care Fund and expansion of the Connected Beginnings program with a focus on delivery through community-controlled organisations.
SNAICC’s CEO Catherine Liddle amplified the call for greater investment in Aboriginal-led early years services by featuring in national and regional media, while SNAICC also provided input to the parliamentary inquiry into education in remote and complex environments via a formal submission and participation in roundtable conversations.
To read the report in full please see here.