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Extra funding for remote early childhood services

Federal Early Childhood and Child Care minister Kate Ellis has announced that the government will provide $1.47 million for early child care and education services in regional, remote and indigenous communities.

The funding will be given so that quality programs might be established while the government reviews how the services operate and how they deliver their services to the communities.

The extra $1.47 million will be provided in acknowledgment of early childhood providers in 33 communities which demonstrated dedication in maintaining and advancing the quality of early childhood services.

According to Ellis, the additional funding will boost the quality of child care and education services for more than 340 service providers with the provision of added resources and facilities for learning.

The funding was in accordance with the budget based funded child care services plan, which enables the Australian government to provide funding for sites in indigenous, regional and remote locations.

Apart from the additional budget, the yearly fund for budget based funded child care services worth $62.7 million will also be continued to be delivered until 30 June 2014 while the review of the services is being completed.

“Our government understands that high-quality early childhood education and care gives all children a better start at life, but it’s particularly important for children in hard-to-reach locations,” Ellis said.

The minister also announced that service providers can make a voluntary self-evaluation against the National Quality Standard to form a Quality Improvement Plan starting on July 2013. Indigenous professional support units and support coordinators will be sponsored for the completion of self-review and the creation of a Quality Improvement Plan.

Ellis said that she has worked with the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations to start on the second stage of the review by forming a reference group featuring external stakeholders to provide advise on various concerns.

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