What are the Budget Based Funded services?
Budget Based Funded (BBF) services are currently funded by the Federal Government as part of the non-mainstream early childhood education and care program (Budget Based Funding (BBF) program). There are 337 services supported by the BBF program and 80% of these are Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander services. These services are community owned and driven, providing a direct entry point to holistically tackle trauma, poverty, dislocation and disempowerment that many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people experience. They are also key providers of local employment and training – enabling local people to have access, often for the first time, to employment. BBF services are a bedrock for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families in their communities.
BBF services are diverse – including Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services (MACS), long day care services, mobile services, crèches, playgroups, out of school hours care (OSHC) services and vacation care services. They operate across Australia – including urban, regional and remote areas.
SNAICC’s role as a focal point for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Budget Based Funding services
SNAICC acts as a focal point of contact for all BBF services. We invite you to contact us if you’re a BBF service and would like to have a yarn, or to bring up a particular issue. We can also help you to get in touch with other BBF services in your area, or across Australia.
Budget Based Funding services – funding challenges
Currently, the Australian Government is conducting a review of the BBF program. This is a critical opportunity to address the identified issues, and build upon existing strengths of our communities. If appropriately designed, resourced and managed, BBF services have the potential to further improve participation and outcomes in early childhood for Aboriginal children and families, and make real and concrete steps in closing the gap.
The Productivity Commission’s 2015 report into early childhood education and care recommended that BBF services be, within a few years, shifted to a user-pays mainstream funding model. We know that a mainstream funding approach – such as through the Child Care Benefit scheme, will not work for BBF services as it is not a feasible or appropriate model through which to provide culturally-strong early childhood education and care programs for families and communities experiencing entrenched disadvantage.
SNAICC is committed to supporting the sustainable operation of BBF services and works collaboratively with them to profile their operations and identify issues and support needs. SNAICC continues to lobby at the state and national levels for sustainable, adequate and equitable funding to ensure the long-term operations of BBF services as integral early years services. SNAICC is also lobbying for ongoing Government support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children and Family Centres (ACFCs).
SNAICC has prepared a number of informative resources that profile BBF services, and support our work to ensure sustainable funding.
- Early Years Pathways – Strong Services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families
This fact sheet explains the importance of a sustainable, resourced Community Early Learning Program to provide for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander integrated early years services, and outlines why investment in this area is so critical. It also highlights a number of case studies of the amazing work of these Centres, and the impact they are having not only on the children in community, but also families and community development as a whole.
SNAICC has developed a beautiful video with Berrimba Child Care Centre, a BBF service located in Echuca, Victoria. The video highlights the history of Berrimba, and the unique role that BBF services like Berrimba play in meeting the needs of their communities.
- Learning from Good Practice: Implementing the Early Years Learning Framework for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children – SNAICC Report 2012
Whilst this resource focuses primarily on services’ implementation of the Early Years Learning Framework, the service interviews – all conducted with BBF services – provide a comprehensive overview of the unique way in which BBF services work to meet the needs of their communities in providing high quality, culturally appropriate early learning and care.
- Learning From Good Practice – Implementing the Early Years Learning Framework Service Profiles – SNAICC Resource 2012
Complementing the above resource, these profiles of each of the 14 services interviewed explore the unique strengths and qualities of BBF services.
Are you a service provider, parent or community member who also feels passionate about ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children can access culturally appropriate, high quality early childhood support? Or does your organisation want to join our campaign? If so, we would love your support! One way you can do this is to write to or call your local MP or Federal Minister. Just contact us and we can give you further information and a template letter to give you some ideas!
Your support will help to raise the visibility and collective voice on this critical issue.
Who to contact
For more information on, or to get involved in, SNAICC’s work supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early years services, please contact: Emma Sydenham – [email protected]