Building Communities for Children around Australia
Minister for Children and Youth Affairs today announced the communities set to benefit from the Australian Government’s Communities for Children initiative – a $110 million program under the refocussed $365 million Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.
“Communities for Children will directly fund 35 Australian communities between $1 and 4 million over four years and is a considerable investment in early childhood development and parenting.
“This groundbreaking initiative recognises that effective early childhood programs is not just about helping children – it is also about supporting parents, neighbourhoods and the wider community to give children the healthy start they need.
“Funding will be distributed through a selected facilitating Non-Government Organisation that will to drive and manage the programs needed to help children and parents in the area. They will work with community leaders, local service providers, local business leaders, all levels of government and local families to develop a ‘community action plan’.”
Initiatives will focus on supporting the health and early development needs of young children aged 0 to 5 years. Examples of programs can include:
- home visiting,
- early learning and literacy,
- early development of social skills and communication skills,
- parenting programs and counselling services,
- child nutrition,
- boosting social inclusion and peer support for parents of young children, and
- organising community events to celebrate the importance of the early years.
“Communities for Children is more than just funding for early childhood, it is in recognition that local organisations are best placed to understand the local needs of families. The community sector has consistently advocated for more control over the allocation of Government funds. This initiative will put them directly into the driving seat,” Mr Anthony said.
Seven communities and lead non-government organisations were announced at the launch of the new Stronger Families and Communities Strategy in April 2004.
Mr Anthony today outlined the remaining 28 communities and announced the call for tenders open for non-government organisations to apply to deliver the funding in these communities.
Applications to work with one of the remaining 28 communities are open until 30 July. More information, along with application forms and guidelines, can be found at www.facs.gov.au.