The Albanese Federal Government has an opportunity to demonstrate its commitment to Closing the Gap for our children by reinstating funding in the October Budget for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander child and family centres. The Abbott Government cut funding in 2014 to 38 Aboriginal Child and Family Centres (ACFCs), undermining efforts to ensure Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children had the best start in life through accessing community-controlled early childhood education and services. SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said the ACFCs represented a considerable investment from COAG and the sector was still feeling the impacts of the cuts. “While some State and Territory Governments took up parts of the funding challenge, many ACFCs struggled to keep operating as integrated community-controlled early years services. “The latest closing the gap data from the Productivity Commission showed a concerning decline in the number of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children assessed as being developmentally on track and ready for school. “This shows the importance of our children and families being able to access integrated early years services from birth if we are to close the gap. “With the Federal Government making early years reform a priority, any changes must take into account the unique needs and barriers that face Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and families. “Reinstating the funding would be a start and demonstrate the new Government is serious about backing Aboriginal-led solutions.” August 25, 2022 Contact: SNAICC Mandy Taylor 0414 634 159