Connected Beginnings program to expand
The Sector > Quality > In The Field > Expansion of Connected Beginnings program announced on Children’s Day

Expansion of Connected Beginnings program announced on Children’s Day

by Freya Lucas

August 04, 2023

Australian Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly has joined Minister for Youth Malarndirri McCarthy to mark National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day with the announcement that the Connected Beginnings program will expand. 


Delivered in partnership with SNAICC National Voice for our Children and the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO), the Connected Beginnings program is a community-led project delivering results.


The program connects First Nations children aged zero to five years with a range of early childhood education, health and family support services to help them meet the learning and development milestones necessary to achieve a positive transition to school.


At existing sites offering the program, the average attendance of First Nations children in centre-based care has increased by more than 10 per cent from 2019 to 2022. Additionally, the number of children on track in all five Australian Early Development Census domains has increased.


“The expansion of Connected Beginnings to new sites means more place-based and community-led efforts to support First Nations children to thrive in their early years,” Ms McCarthy said.


The expansion will see an additional six sites come on board, with the capacity to support an additional 4,500 First Nations children.The new locations – five in Queensland and one in New South Wales – will bring the total number of Connected Beginnings sites to 40 across Australia, supporting 16,400 First Nations children.


New Connected Beginnings projects will be established in:


  • Maryborough (QLD)
  • Hervey Bay (QLD)
  • Cairns (QLD)
  • Bundaberg (QLD)
  • Rockhampton (QLD)
  • Broken Hill (NSW).


Connected Beginnings is a key contributor to the Closing the Gap early childhood education targets – partnering with First Nations communities in ensuring activities are delivered to First Nations people, in their own places and on their Country.


“The Connected Beginnings program has been structured so that communities are empowered to design and deliver the program in a way which supports their individual needs and aspirations,” Dr Aly explained.


The funding for the new sites is part of an $81.8 million Government investment to expand the national program to 50 sites by 2025.  


Learn more about Connected Beginnings here

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