Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

More help for children’s services in Alice Springs

The Federal Minister for Community Services, Mr Larry Anthony, was in Alice Springs today to announce $833,820 in funding for the Gap Neighbourhood Centre and present the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Child Care Centre with a three year accreditation certificate and funding for a new school bus.

Mr Anthony said the $833,820 would enable the Gap Neighbourhood Centre to be relocated to a new purpose built 40-place child care facility. The centre has provided Alice Springs’ families with child care services for nearly 20 years and will now be co-located with the Ida Standley Pre-school.

“The relocation will allow the centre to continue meeting the child care needs of Alice Springs children in safe, pleasant surroundings. The relocation will make it far more convenient for families using both the child care centre and pre-school,” Mr Anthony said.

Mr Anthony was also in Alice Springs today to present the central Australian Aboriginal Congress Child Care Centre with a three year accreditation certificate. He also announced at the ceremony the Centre would get $12,699 to help them upgrade their school bus.

“In July this year the Centre became the first Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Service (MACS) to gain a three year accreditation under the National Quality Improvement and Accreditation System for Long Day Child Care Centres,” Mr Anthony said.

“This certificate is only given to child care centres that provides the highest quality of child care. It is the result of a lot of hard work by all those involved in the centre to provide each child with the opportunity and environment to reach their full potential,” Mr Anthony said.

“The additional funding of $12,699 will allow the centre to upgrade their current vehicle to a 12 seater transitbus to take the children to and from pre-school.

“The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Child Care Centre is one of 37 such services funded by the government across the country. To be the first of these services to gain this level of accreditation is something of which the Centre and the local community should be very proud.”

MACS are community-based organisations that are designed to meet the specific social and development needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.

Mr Anthony said that the centre gives children a chance to interact with other children, to learn about their own culture and to share the fun of craft, music and story-time in a safe and happy environment.

“Often families who live outside the major cities don’t have ready access to the same services taken for granted by many people. The MACS form a vital part of the government’s commitment to develop and support services for the rural and remote communities of Australia.

“The Coalition Government will continue its commitment to provide high quality, affordable child care services for Australian families and the achievements of the Central Australian Aboriginal Congress Centre and the Gap Neighbourhood Centre are prime examples of striving to provide children with the highest possible level of care.”