25th Aug 2015

Congress calls for the Central Desert remote childcare centres to reopen immediately

Congress calls for the Central Desert remote childcare centres to reopen  immediately
The Central Australian Aboriginal Congress today added its voice for the three remote childcare centres in the region of the Central Desert Regional Council to be appropriately funded and reopened under its coordinator led service model.

“Early childhood is the most critical period for healthy development and is the key to the promotion of life long health and wellbeing. It is also clear from the evidence that in addition to the education and learning that occurs in the home, well run childcare centres make a significant contribution to healthy development. Poorly resourced centres are likely to do more harm than good,” said Congress CEO, Ms Donna Ah Chee.

The coordinator led model proposed by the Central Desert Regional Council, which includes the training and employment of local Aboriginal people, builds on the evidence of what is needed to run an effective centre. The council demonstrated through the initial implementation of this model that the much greater benefits to children occur through increased participation and enhanced learning opportunities.

It is understood that in the short time that the centres were operating under the coordinator led model, they transformed into hubs of activity both for the parents and families of children, and facilitated easy access for visiting allied health services to work with children in need. This creates a more efficient service.

Congress calls on the Federal Government to appropriately fund the Central Desert Regional Council’s coordinator led service model. Anything less than this is selling out the healthy development of remote Aboriginal children as well as the opportunity for well supervised training and employment of local Aboriginal people in the centre.

“If we get the start to life right then we can change a person’s whole life story. This is not an area for budget savings and undercutting the service model is not in the interests of remote Aboriginal children,” she concluded.

Congress supports the call from the Central Desert Council President, Adrian Dixon, to have these centres properly funded and re-opened.

Contact: Emily MacKenzie on 0408 741 691