After years of lobbying, Congress has received $4m over two (2) years to deliver a new and innovative Early Childhood Learning Centre for Aboriginal children from disadvantaged, non-working families living in Alice Springs.
While a site to deliver the new program remains under negotiation, planning is well underway through an implementation working group. The new Early Childhood Learning Centre will be based on an international, play based learning program with the highest level of evidence for cost effectiveness. The program has been adapted to the local context and culture.
Designed for children aged six (6) months to three (3) years, the program includes play based learning games, conversational reading (using local, traditional stories) and enriched care giving. Local languages will be spoken at the centre, including Arrernte, Luritja and Warlpiri.
The years from birth to three (3) years of age are critical for establishing the developmental foundations for health and wellbeing throughout life. Internationally developed, this program has demonstrated promising long-term health and wellbeing outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds as they reach adulthood. It has already had great success with Aboriginal children in Alice Springs, Cape York and Kimberley regions and is delivered by NT Education in remote areas as the Family as First Teachers program.
Progressive recruitment to fill a range of positions for the centre is underway with positions to include a manager, educational lead, educators, trainee educators, Aboriginal family support workers, administrative support, a cook and engagement/transport officers.
This will be a great opportunity for experienced and new educators and support staff to make a lasting impact on the health and wellbeing of our children. People can register interest in available positions here.
The centre is scheduled to open in early 2017.