Closing the Gap for Indigenous Australians - Northern Territory - Continuation of early childhood programs
Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA)
The Australian Government has committed $0.4 million to fund four existing early childhood services in the Northern Territory (NT) to enable continued and improved assistance to Indigenous families and children.
Funding has been extended to a range of services, including:
- the Council of Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services in Darwin, NT;
- the NPY Women's Council Child Nutrition Program in the NT;
- Let's Start: Exploring Together for Indigenous Preschools in the NT; and
- Core of Life across Australia.
Council of Aboriginal Alcohol Program Services provides education on substance misuse and the effects on family and community. It also delivers education on kinship systems and family activities to strengthen culture, kinship and develop relationships with children and their families.
NPY Women's Council Child Nutrition Program provides case management and support for families where children are at risk, particularly through failure to grow. They also provide nutrition and early childhood education work through community health weeks and expos. Support is also provided through advocacy for families and children in relation to child protection intervention, and encouraging schools to introduce nutrition into the curriculum.
Let's Start: Exploring Together for Indigenous Preschools aims to support parents, improve parenting practices, strengthen family units, reduce children's problematic behaviour, develop children's social skills and boost their self-esteem. The program focuses on children at risk and their families, particularly where there are high rates of family conflict and frequent notifications for child neglect.
Core of Life Pregnancy, Birth, Breastfeeding and Early Parenting is a 'hands on' prevention/early intervention life education program. It aims to reduce the rate of teenage pregnancy and assist pregnant teenagers with preparation for pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and early parenting.
These services provide assistance to families and children, including addressing family violence, child development, early intervention and linking families with other assistance.
Around 90 Indigenous children and their families will be helped by the ongoing funding of Northern Territory Emergency Response (NTER) early childhood services. This measure ensures an integrated approach to early childhood education and care and health measures and services.
The measure is a continuation of funding for existing services. Payments will be made directly to service providers through funding agreements with FaHCSIA.
Total Government Funding
The Australian Government has committed total funds of $0.4 million in 2008 09. Further activity will be informed by the outcomes of the NTER review later this year.