The Australian Greens have called on the Federal Government to guarantee funding for Family and Early Learning Centres after the Senate today supported a motion moved by Senator Rachel Siewert, recognising the essential services they provide to communities.
"Funding for Family and Early Learning Centres ceased with the expiry of the Council of Australian Governments' National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development on 30 June 2014," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander issues said today.
"As a result, centres are having to suspend services and not renew contracts with staff as a result of funding uncertainty. This centres are providing support services that are helping to close the gap.
"I'm shocked the Government isn't providing renewed funding for these centres, given they say they recognise the importance of early learning and closing the gap.
"In failing to ensure ongoing funding, the Government is compromising the availability of care provided to children, families and communities.
"This is another example of the haphazard way in which the Government is taking money out of programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as part of their half a billion dollars in budget cuts.
"There is a clear need for these centres and strong support for them in communities. I call on the Government to act on this motion and ensure long term funding guarantees are made and delivered on," Senator Siewert concluded.
385 Senator Siewert: To move-That the Senate-
(i) the support Family and Early Learning Centres provide to children and families around Australia, and
(ii) the contribution of these centres to closing the gap on early childhood learning outcomes;
(i) the funding for these centres ceased with the expiry of the Council of Australian Governments‘ National Partnership Agreement on Indigenous Early Childhood Development on 30 June 2014, and
(ii) that centres are having to suspend services and not renew contracts with staff as a result of funding uncertainty; and
(c) calls on the Federal Government to guarantee funding for these important centres now and into the future.