Aly announces four new community-run ECEC services to boost First Nations access
The Federal Government has announced four new community-run early childhood education and care (ECEC) services to support more First Nations children to be able to access education and care in remote communities.
The sites will be run by First Nations led organisations in the following locations:
- Central Australian Aboriginal Congress in Alice Springs, NT
- Central Desert Regional Council in Ti Tree, NT
- Bundiyarra Aboriginal Community Corporation in Geraldton, WA
- Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council in Kowanyama, QLD.
The four new sites are in addition to four sites announced in April. Once all eight services are established, they will be providing access to vital quality early childhood education and care for more than 300 children per year.
“Every child should be able to access quality ECEC, no matter where they live,” said Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly.
“When children access quality early learning they do better throughout life, from better health outcomes, improved school readiness and higher paying jobs later in life.
“With quality ECEC, we have the ability to change the trajectory of a child’s life, helping to Close the Gap for First Nations Children.”
SNAICC, the national peak body for Indigenous children, will be the community partner for the new services – supporting their establishment and the implementation of community-led and culturally safe ECEC.
“It makes all the difference for children, who through early childhood education, have better access to education, health and family support services. We know how formative the first few years of a child’s life are in setting them up for success. The opening of these community-led centres gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children the opportunity to access early learning in a way that is culturally safe and supportive,” said SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle.
“A greater availability of early learning also creates more pathways for women who will be better positioned to take up work and other opportunities.”
The announcement was welcomed by Estelle Carter, a key advocate who has been calling for an ECEC service in Ti Tree for the past 12 years.
“Women in Ti Tree have been working for more than a decade to get early education and care services,” she said.
“This is fantastic news for our Anmatjere babies and everyone in the region. It was hard at times, but this work to get a service in Ti Tree has received so much support. This is going to really empower our community.”
The new services are part of the $575 million Community Child Care Fund, helping address barriers to participation in early childhood education by helping much needed services open and stay open in communities across Australia.
The program currently funds over 900 services, with around 60 per cent of funding supporting services located in regional and remote communities.
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