Investing in our children and Australia’s future
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, welcomed the announcement today by the Prime Minister of unprecedented levels of funding that will provide better opportunities for thousands of Australian children and families through innovative and grassroots projects.
“The refocused $365.8 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy builds on the considerable investment in early childhood development and parenting made in the first four years of the Strategy.
“Funding will be available through four funding streams:
- Communities for Children ($110 million over four years) will target up to 35 disadvantaged communities providing funding of up to $4 million for local early childhood initiatives.
- Early Childhood – Invest to Grow ($70.5 million over four years) will provide funding for national early childhood programs and resources.
- Local Answers ($60 million over four years) gives communities the power to develop their own solutions and help them help themselves by supporting locally developed and implemented projects.
- Choice and Flexibility in Child Care ($125.3 million over four years) will continue the in-home care program, extend incentives for all long day care providers to set up in areas of high need, and continue the quality assurance systems for family day care and outside school hours care.
“This Government has made early childhood development a priority for this third term and consulted widely within the community over the past year on how we can best support our children. The new Strategy acts on the recommendations of the consultations – it is policy grounded in evidence.
“There is no doubt the early years of a child’s life will directly influence their future educational, career and health outcomes. Getting it right in the early years can help avoid future reliance on welfare, substance misuse and becoming entangled in the criminal justice system.
“Our approach to helping local communities address their complex social problems has involved taking advice from and working with community organisations, business, academics and families. These stakeholders have unrivalled knowledge and understanding of local problems and we will continue to involve them at the highest level of social policy development.
“As the first ever Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, I am proud to be involved in this unprecedented commitment to early childhood. These initiatives are not about the government telling people how to live their lives. It is about providing targeted assistance to help local communities solve their local problems.
“This commitment will assist not only the children of today, but also the children of tomorrow. The rewards from this Strategy will be reaped well into the future,” Mr Anthony said.
More information can be found at www.facs.gov.au.