Supporting Children in ECEC: WA Grants Program announced
More than $1.3 million in Commonwealth funding for Western Australia’s early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector was announced yesterday.
The funding will be dispersed via the Preschool Reform Agreement (PRA) and will see grants of between $20,000 and $100,000 available for ECEC organisations to offer programs which facilitate children’s early learning, development, and transition to school.
The Australian Government and all states and territories are signatories to the PRA, which sets out the national reform agenda aimed at strengthening the delivery of preschool education to better prepare children for their first year of school.
One of the key reforms of the PRA is for funding to flow to all settings, including the ECEC sector. Preschool in Western Australia, most commonly known as kindergarten, provides an invaluable foundation to children in the year prior to full-time school. It is the child’s first step in their formal educational journey, and the PRA is dedicated to making this journey equitable and empowering from the beginning.
There will be a specific focus on improving kindergarten participation and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, and developmentally vulnerable children, and this allocation marks the first time that funding will be distributed to the ECEC sector through the Supporting Children in ECEC WA grants program administered by Child Australia.
The Supporting Children in ECEC WA Grants Program is designed to assist the ECEC sector in securing funding for initiatives that are dedicated to improving outcomes for children. Specifically, this grants program provides funding for ECEC settings in line with the objectives of the PRA to facilitate children’s early learning and development and support their transition to school.
Aligned to the objectives of the PRA, the grants program places a dedicated focus on enhancing preschool participation and outcomes within specific demographics, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children, children living in regional, remote, and very remote communities, those experiencing significant disadvantage, children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and children under the care of the CEO, Department of Communities. It seeks to address the distinct needs and challenges faced by each of these groups, striving for a more inclusive and equitable preschool experience for all children.
“We are proud to support the WA Government with the distribution of these funds to the ECEC sector. These funds will help to progress critical initiatives that provide optimal support for children that need it most as they prepare for their transition to school,” said Child Australia CEO Tina Holtom.
Initiatives which develop and maintain quality preschool programs, promote enrolment and regular attendance, and prepare children for school are especially sought, with the program aligning with the PRA’s objectives of enhancing preschool participation and outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and developmentally vulnerable children.
Applications will open for eligible services from 1 November 2023. Full grant details are available on the Child Australia website. To ensure a smooth process, services are encouraged to carefully review the grant guidelines to confirm eligibility and ensure they have all necessary application requirements prepared.
Changemaker sought as Goodstart opens COO role for the first time in a decade
by Freya Lucas
Dreaming about owning your own centre? It’s easier than you think!
by Marketplace Editor
Flowers, chocolates, promises: now too late for early childhood educators
by Freya Lucas