Closing the Gap - Northern Territory - Crèches

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations

Key Elements

The Australian Government will invest $9.1 million over three years to improve access to high-standard child care services for Indigenous Australians living in remote Northern Territory communities.

The Australian Government’s new agenda for Early Childhood Education and Child Care includes specific Indigenous components which interact and contribute to the Government’s broader outcomes for Indigenous peoples through the Closing the Gap initiative.

This measure will deliver:

  • operational funding for eight new crèches already established;
  • capital and operational funding for a ninth new crèche; and
  • capital funding to complete upgrades to two more existing services.

Access to quality early childhood programs can improve the whole of life outcomes for young children through their exposure to early learning opportunities from an early age facilitating a smoother transition to school. 


This measure supports and complements the work being undertaken through the broader early childhood agenda promoting access for remote Indigenous children to early childhood education and care.

Crèches provide children with the opportunity to engage in early learning and prepare for formal schooling.  Crèches provide early childhood services to their communities and encourage local Indigenous women to engage in working and training in the early childhood area.

This proposal will build on and continue delivery of the work commenced previously under the Northern Territory Emergency Response crèche measure. 

As a result of these initiatives, a total of nine new crèches will be established and 13 upgrades to existing crèches will be completed.

  • Two new crèches opened in 2008 and one crèche commenced operation in March 2009 in a temporary facility, with a further five new crèches expected to become operational by June 2009. The ninth crèche will be completed by early 2010.
  • Upgrades have been completed to existing crèches in six communities, with the remaining seven to be completed by the end of 2009.

The crèches are being supported in communities where there is little or no other form of early learning or child care programs for children under five years.  Crèches in these sites may in future provide the platform, in conjunction with state and territory government linkages, for the delivery of a range of early childhood programs for Indigenous children and their families supporting their early learning and care needs including universal access to pre-schools for Indigenous children.


The 2009-10 NTER Crèche measure will be implemented from 1 July 2009, with operational funding available for three years and capital funding available in 2009-10.

Funding will be provided through the Child Care Services Support Program administered by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations.

Total Government Funding

$9.1 million over three years.

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