Indigenous families will be given an extra hour of free childcare

Under new government reforms announced by the Australian government, Indigenous children are eligible for an additional 36 hours of childcare assistance every two weeks.

As part of the federal cheaper child care program, the program will provide Indigenous children with an additional 12 hours in addition to their current 24 hour allotment per fortnight. The government estimates this will benefit about 6,600 First Nations families.

Currently, the government estimates that only 4.3% of Indigenous children are in early childhood education, despite representing 6.1% of the population with children aged 0-5. Additional hours will be introduced from July 2023.

Education Minister Jason Clare said in a joint statement: media release Early Childhood Education Minister Anne Ali and Indigenous Peoples Minister Linda Burney revealed on Monday that the goal of closing the gap for school readiness has retreated for the first time in 2021.

“We need to turn this around, and a big part of that is removing the barriers that keep them from going to early childhood education and care,” Claire said.

Aly said the measure will not only reduce the cost of living for families, but will also benefit First Nations children during their formative years.

“It is imperative that all governments work together and work with First Nations people to close the gap and improve early childhood education outcomes,” she said.

On the other hand, Barney said getting Indigenous children involved in early education will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

“This is a practical step aimed at closing the gaps in the areas where we are falling behind,” she said. “It will make a difference for Indigenous children across the country. “

Federal Government Invests Over $10 Million in Policy Partnerships for Infant Care

The Commonwealth Government will also invest $10.2 million (US$6.65 million) to establish policy partnerships on early childhood care and development with Australian, State and Territory governments and Indigenous representatives.

The partnership will be co-chaired by SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children, an advocacy group that has been advocating for Indigenous children since 1981.

SNAICC has been vocally pressuring the Albanian government to prepare indigenous children for school. This is the first time since the Closing the Gap report released its annual findings in August.

SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said: August media statement “The latest Gap Close data from the Productivity Commission shows a worrying decline in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children rated as developmentally on track and ready for school. ”.

“As the federal government makes early reform a priority, any change must take into account the unique needs and barriers faced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families,” Riddle said. Told.

She called on the federal government to reinstate funding for Aboriginal Children and Family Centers (ACFCs).

“Restoring the funds would be a starting point to show that the new government is serious about supporting Aboriginal-led solutions,” she said.

Victoria Kelly-Clark


Victoria Kelly-Clark is an Australia-based reporter focusing on the national politics and geopolitical environment in the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Central Asia.