Release type: Media Release

Date:

Support for Aboriginal children and families in SA

Ministers:

The Hon Kate Ellis MP
Minister for Early Childhood Education, Child Care and Youth

Joint Media Release with the Hon Jay Weatherill MP

The Minister for Early Childhood Education and Child Care Kate Ellis and the South Australian Minister for Early Childhood Development Jay Weatherill today announced three new Children and Family Centres for South Australia.

The Federal Government, in partnership with the South Australian Government, is investing $25.22 million over six years for new centres at Christies Beach/Noarlunga, Whyalla and Ceduna.

“The first few years of a child’s life set them on a road to adulthood – we want that road to take them to good health, education and social development,” Ms Ellis said.

“We particularly want Aboriginal children to get the best start in life. Experts tell us that quality early education has the power to break the cycle of disadvantage and that’s vital to closing the gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.”

The centres target the needs of Aboriginal families and their young children, but all families will be able to use the service.

The SA Children and Family Centres will open in 2011 and bring together services to help children and their families develop in terms of health, education and social development.

Ms Ellis said the decision to build the centres at Christies Beach/Noarlunga, Whyalla and Ceduna is based on the growing number of Indigenous children under the age of five in these communities.

Mr Weatherill said the next step is to talk to each community about the specific sites for the centres and what types of services they’d like to see provided.

“We will make sure we engage with the local community to ensure the services will meet the needs of local families and improve outcomes for young children,” he said.

35 Children and Family Centres will be built across Australia as part of the $564 million Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership Agreement between the Australian Government and States and Territories.