Kyogle, Federal to benefit from early childhood education & care trial

Janelle Saffin MP says working families in Kyogle, Federal, Yamba and Grafton will benefit from the NSW Government's new Flexible Initiatives Trial (FIT) aimed at providing more access to early childhood education and care.

WORKING families in Kyogle and Federal are set to benefit from more access to early childhood and education and care, including new programs, longer hours, weekend operating hours and additional places, as part of a new $20-million program.

The Flexible Initiatives Trial (FIT) aims to address parents’ barriers to workforce participation, particularly for women, by supporting early childhood services to adapt their offerings and hours where a local community need is identified.

Sixteen early childhood education and care (ECEC) services across regional and metropolitan NSW will receive more than $2.8 million in funding with the first round of successful applicants announced today (Wednesday, 10 April).

State Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin said she was pleased two local services – Kyogle’s Bundgeam Preschool and the Federal Community Children’s Centre in the Byron Shire hinterland – were among the 16 grant recipients.

“Bundgeam and Federal are blessed with dedicated early childhood educators and carers, and under the Flexible Initiatives Trial, they will be better positioned to meet the needs of working families in their local communities,” Ms Saffin said.

“It’s also great to see that two other services in our wider region – Yamba Early Learning Centre and Clarence Community Preschool, Grafton – will benefit from this trial. The Grafton service will begin offering services on Saturday and Sunday.”

Examples of the family-friendly benefits can include:

•           extending hours of operation beyond traditional working hours

•           providing flexible pick-up and drop-off times

•           giving families the ability to make occasional or ad hoc care arrangements

•           establishing new family day care services in rural and remote areas

•           partnerships between two different service types to provide extended or wraparound care.

This is just part of the NSW Labor Government’s long-term commitment to support children and young families in the early years, which includes an historic $769 million investment to build 100 new public preschools in NSW, which is the largest investment in public preschools in the state’s history.

We have also committed $60 million to build and upgrade preschools at 50 non-government schools in areas where they are needed most, and $17 million to support capital works for early childhood services.

The NSW Government is also growing the number of early childhood workers through a major scholarship program, which continues to see a record number of applicants.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:

“Every child in NSW deserves to start school with strong educational foundations, and we know early childhood education is vital in setting young children up for success.

“This trial is supporting existing services to expand their offerings and respond to the needs of their local communities.

“This will look different in different areas across the state, with more flexibility and expanded offerings, which is a great outcome for parents and our youngest learners.”

The 16 services to receive grants are:

  • Bundgeam Preschool, Kyogle
  • Federal Community Children’s Centre, Federal Little Genius Cottage, Chifley
  • Yamba Early Learning Centre, Yamba
  • Clarence Community Preschool, Grafton
  • Denison Street Early Learning Centre, Tamworth
  • Yarm Gwanga Preschool and Early Education Centre, Armidale
  • Possum Early Childhood Centre, Hazelbrook
  • Nurture and Grow Early Learning Centre, Miranda
  • Dee Why Children’s Centre, Dee Why
  • Plumpton Long Day Care and Preschool, Plumpton
  • Tyndale Early Learning Centre, Blacktown
  • Diocese of Broken Bay Early Learning Centre, Forestville
  • Bowral Street Childcare, Bowral
  • Menindee Children’s Centre, Menindee
  • A new family day care service, to be run by Bega Valley Family Day Care