Families in Alice Springs are benefiting from the Turnbull Government’s community based Connected Beginnings program, which connects health care, early childhood education and family support services to give local children the best possible start in life.
Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham and Minister for Indigenous Affairs Nigel Scullion will be in Alice Springs today to meet with the team driving the delivery of the Connected Beginnings program through Braitling Primary School.
Minister Birmingham said he looking forward to seeing firsthand how Connected Beginnings is making a difference in Alice Springs and helping local children get ready to start school.
“It’s vital that all children get the best possible start in life, and improving school readiness is a key goal of the Connected Beginnings program,” Minister Birmingham said.
“Happy, healthy children who are ready to start school makes a big difference to their educational outcomes and maximises the opportunities they will have to learn and grow throughout their school years.
Minister Scullion said the Connected Beginnings program is a key initiative to boost the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and help them transition into school.
“What we’re seeing here in Alice Springs – is by engaging with families and providing them with tailored support – you can positively improve children’s academic success, which ultimately improves their quality of life,” Minister Scullion said.
“Supporting the health and development of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the first five years of life will develop a range of capabilities that will enable a positive transition to school and achievement of a child’s potential.
Minister Birmingham said that each year $10 million will be made available through the Turnbull Government’s new child care package, through the Community Child Care Fund to give children the learning and development support they need to help transition into school life.
“Our new child care package begins on 2 July, which means that more support for families in Alice Springs is on the way. Around 7500 families in the Northern Territory will benefit from our child care and early learning reforms,” Minister Birmingham said
“Our overhaul of child care and early learning subsidies and extra $2.5 billion investment in the system will target support towards families earning the least and families working the most, introduce hourly rate caps to put downward pressure on fee increases and abolish the annual rebate cap for most families.
“It will particularly benefit those families on incomes up to $66,958 who will receive an 85 per cent subsidy on the cost of their child care, an increase from 72 per cent. Also, the former annual subsidy cap has been removed for families earning $186,958 or less.
Minister Birmingham urged local families to take steps now and be ready for when the new child care package begins on 2 July.
“Visit www.education.gov.au/childcare today to find out how to transition to the new child care package.”