New funding agreements and research boost for autism centres
The Federal Government will sign new three-year funding agreements with Australia’s six Australia’s Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres (ASELCCs), including $1.8 million of new research funding.
The six ASELCCs provide early intervention services in a long day care setting for children with autism or autism-like behaviour. The ASELCCs also operate as ‘centres of excellence’ by conducting research into autism, early intervention and early diagnosis.
The new three-year funding agreements with the ASELCCs provide certainty to the centres and the families who rely upon them.
A $3 million research fund is also being created by the Federal Government to identify and spread best practice in childcare early interventions for children with autism spectrum disorders.
This new research fund includes a $1.8 million injection of new funding from the Federal Government and pools the existing research allocation of $133,500 per ASELCC, which was previously spread across the network. Funding will also be provided for a coordinator to support the research objectives of the ASELCC programme.
The new funding will be accessible to ASELCCs and partner universities, and it will allow for more extensive research to take place in the centres with a keen interest in research, while allowing centres who prefer to focus on their core business to opt out of conducting research.
Assistant Minister for Social Services, Alan Tudge MP, said the new three year funding agreements and increased research capabilities were important developments for the ASELCCs.
“Our six Autism Specific Early Learning and Care Centres have been operating for more than five years and have helped hundreds of children and their families across Australia.
“We’re seeing great results from these specialist early learning centres, with children responding really well to the mix of therapeutic interventions and family support in a long daycare setting.
“Many of the ASELCCs have an impressive record in autism research, and this funding will allow them to demonstrate the value and importance of early intervention in the lives of children with autism,” Mr Tudge said.
For the locations of the six ASELCCs and more information visit https://www.dss.gov.au/our-responsibilities/disability-and-carers/program-services/for-people-with-disability/autism-specific-early-learning-and-care-centres