Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Funding in Alice Springs helps local children

Further access to quality early childhood services and activities for local children and their families will be boosted following one-off funding of $205,000 for the Tangentyere Council’s Intensive Support Playgroup.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson today announced $150,000 would be used for minor capital upgrades for three Town Camp Community Centres, and the remaining $55,000 will assist upgrade the mobile playgroup vehicle.

“The upgrades will take place at Hidden Valley, Charles Creek and Larapinta Valley, ensuring these communities have safe and healthy venues for families to socialise and access early childhood services,” Senator Patterson said.

“The innovative mobile playgroup vehicle is used to provide a playgroup service to Town Camps around Alice Springs.

“The Howard Government is keen to support the Tangentyere Council’s work ensuring Indigenous families and their children in Alice Springs have access to early learning opportunities through playgroups.

“The Tangentyere Council, in collaboration with Central Australian Toy Library and the Centralian College, have already achieved exceptional results within Indigenous communities in Alice Springs.”

While in Alice Springs, Senator Patterson will today also visit the Central Australian Toy Library, a community not-for-profit organisation providing early learning programs for families with children under five in the Alice Springs region.

“The services and programs, which are accessed by up to 500 children each week, include a mobile playgroup service, special needs playgroups, general playgroups for children up to five years of age, a kindergarten for three year olds and a toy lending service.

“The Howard Government recognises many families need additional support in accessing early childhood services and this funding demonstrates that all children, irrespective of where they live or their family circumstances, can enjoy playgroups, which are proven to stimulate future learning,” Senator Patterson said.