This National Close the Gap Day SNAICC – National Voice for our Children calls on all Governments to invest in the strengths of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled early childhood education and family services to close the gap in early childhood development.
SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said proper funding of community-controlled Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander early childhood and family services was an investment in the future.
We need to see some big changes to the current child care funding model,” Ms Liddle said.
“The current early childhood education system is geared towards supporting mainstream working families.
“We don’t oppose this, but the model must include a focus on the needs of vulnerable Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
“Our children need access to at least 30 hours of free or heavily subsidised quality child care each week, instead of the mere 12 hours guaranteed by the current funding model.
“We know Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children are over twice as likely to be falling behind in their developmental milestones than other children when they start school.
“The only way to change this is to invest in a dedicated funding program that supports the holistic family services that community-controlled organisations provide.”
Failures to invest in early childhood and family support programs lead to devastating rates of removal of our children from their families. A staggering 22,297 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children were in out-of-home care and other supported care at 30 June 2021.
Ms Liddle said there was a need to strengthen the Aboriginal-led evidence base for what is working best for communities and Aboriginal community-controlled organisations.
Last week SNAICC launched 11 best practice profiles that demonstrate the strength of Aboriginal-led early intervention programs in breaking down the barriers that prevented our communities from accessing the supports and services that they need. A link to the profiles is below.
Recognising our expertise by supporting our community-controlled services is the only way we will close the gap and reduce the barriers many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families and children face,” Ms Liddle said.
For more information or interviews contact:
Lily Harris, Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org 0413 657 139