SNAICC, the national peak body representing the interests of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families, is pleased to announce the release of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Early Childhood Strategy in partnership with the Australian Government.

Launched today at the 9th SNAICC National Conference, the development of the Strategy was guided by conversations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families; and Aboriginal-led organisations and services in the early childhood, care and development sectors.

Our people know best, and this framework recognises and builds on Aboriginal-led solutions for us to continue to improve the early years experiences of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children,” SNAICC Chairperson Muriel Bamblett said.

“The Strategy – the first of its kind in Australia – supports our children to grow up happy, healthy and strong in their early years, and ensure they have the opportunity to have the best start in life.”

SNAICC and the strategy leadership group worked in partnership with the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA) to support a whole-of-government approach that brings together maternal and child health, housing, early education and care, disability, family and parenting supports, and child and family services.

SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said the Strategy responds to calls for a more joined up approach between jurisdictions and service providers, opening up opportunities to work across sectors and with governments and territories to build a strong early years platform for our children.

We are starting to see movement in the right direction – setting priorities and decision-making in relation to our children and families, and through the Joint Council on Closing the Gap we are at the table with government,” Ms Liddle said.

Alongside the release of the Strategy, SNAICC has received new funding from the Commonwealth governments of $8.3 million to develop state-based community-controlled intermediary services that will support and build the community-controlled early years sectors, beginning in New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria. This is an exciting opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled services to strengthen their collective voice and grow their services based on what they know works best.

We are extremely proud of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early years services who have paved the way for this Strategy. Together, let’s make sure their connection to culture and Country is maintained so that they are able to continue with the songlines and the stories of our ancestors for generations to come.” – Adjunct Professor Muriel Bamblett

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