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Welcoming the Government’s commitment to get more First Nations children into early childhood education and care

Welcoming the Government’s commitment to get more First Nations children into early childhood education and care

Child Australia welcomes the recent Federal Government announcement to provide all First Nations children with access to 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised education and care from July 2023 as part of the government’s Cheaper Child Care policy.

The latest data from the Closing the Gap report shows that while 6.1% of Australia’s population of children aged 0-5 years identify as Indigenous; there are only 4.3% Indigenous children enrolled into early childhood education and care. This Government announcement is therefore a very welcome first step in ensuring a positive approach toward Closing the Gap.

Child Australia’s CEO Tina Holtom said “we congratulate the federal government on this reform, however we strongly encourage government to ensure genuine access for First Nations children if we are to see a real step change. Accessibility is an issue, particularly in many regional and remote communities, we need broader investment to ensure First Nations children have a real opportunity to access their 36 hours per fortnight. Ideally we should have this commitment aligned to changes in priority of access guidelines, along with investment in capital infrastructure and the workforce to support”.

We look forward to seeing this commitment provide more First Nations families with the opportunity to access early education and care for their children. A great step forward towards closing the gap.

Read the full Government announcement here:  Making childcare more accessible for Indigenous families | Ministers Media Centre (pmc.gov.au)
Read the Closing the Gap report here:   https://ministers.pmc.gov.au/burney/2022/closing-gap-annual-data-compilation-report-2022