Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

STaR to support child care in Sydney

 A project helping children with special needs to access up to 12 mainstream child care services in west and south-western Sydney will receive $549,834 from the Howard Government’s Early Childhood – Invest to Growinitiative.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today launched the Macquarie University Special Teaching and Research Project (STaR), to support child care providers enrolling children with special needs.

“Through STaR, child care centre staff will learn the skills needed to provide the right kind of care for babies and children with disabilities,” Senator Patterson said.

“Specialist staff will work with the centres to develop and implement programs for young children with disabilities in a child care setting.

“STaR will support the families of these children through the provision of child care, enabling the parents to return to work, study or receive respite.

“The project will also help children and their families prepare for the transition from a child care setting to a school, which in many cases will be in the mainstream education system.

“The STaR project has been operating successfully in Ryde, Seven Hills, Kings Langley and St Clair, and there are plans for new programs at Penrith, Werrington and Blackett.

“Invest to Grow is part of the Australian Government’s $490 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy, giving families, their children and communities the opportunity to build a better future,” Senator Patterson said.