Media Release by The Hon Jenny Macklin MP

Child care services for Halls Creek

The Australian Government has pledged its support for the establishment of a child care service hub in Halls Creek to make sure local children have access to high quality early learning and care.

Today I met members of the Halls Creek Community Reference Group and advised them that the Australian Government, working in partnership with the Western Australian Government, is committed to establishing quality services for children in the community.

The hub will provide a range of family services including parenting education programs, health and nutrition programs and early intervention services.

There is currently a cr`eche in Halls Creek that caters for 20 children. Our preliminary discussions with the community indicate that there is a need for a 45 place child care centre.

We will consult the community and early childhood service providers in Halls Creek to make sure we meet the needs of the community, both now and into the future.

We understand the importance of providing high quality early childhood services to help break the cycle of entrenched, generational disadvantage and social exclusion for Indigenous people.

International research shows that the first years of a child’s life are crucial to their development and life-long outcomes. The evidence shows that investment in early childhood, particularly for disadvantaged children, reduces the incidence of complex social problems before they become entrenched.

Halls Creek is one of 20 Innovative Child Care Service Hubs that the Australian Government is establishing nationally.

Initial consultation and planning for the Halls Creek Hub is well underway. A joint Working Group of senior officials from the Australian and WA governments, as well as representatives from the Halls Creek Community Reference Group, has been established.