Centre to be built at Middle Swan and Clayton View primary schools
Parenting skills, child health services, cultural and language programs offered
Families of young children in the Swan region will be able to access child care and health services, early learning programs and parenting support across two primary schools after Education Minister Liz Constable announced the location of the new Swan Children and Family Centre.
The centre is one of five Children and Family Centres being developed in Western Australia, and will be built across two sites - Middle Swan Primary School in Stratton and Clayton View Primary School in Koongamia.
The Swan Children and Family Centre will complement the 10 Child and Parent Centres, announced last week by the State Government, to offer services to parents in disadvantaged areas.
Dr Constable said the centre would provide families with a range of programs and services for all their early learning, health and family support needs.
“From talking with the communities, it is clear there is a need in the Swan region for family education such as parenting support, maternal and child health services, and cultural and language programs,” she said.
“Primary schools are the best placed sites to give families with young children easy access to these services.”
Facilities at the Middle Swan site will include a family centre, creche and health consulting rooms, while child care will be among the services located at the Clayton View site.
The Minister said the State Government, as part of the Closing the Gap Indigenous Early Childhood Development National Partnership, aimed to improve health outcomes and halve the gap in reading, writing and numeracy achievements between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal children in the years to come.
“There are a high number of disadvantaged families in the Middle Swan and Koongamia areas and the two schools chosen have a significant percentage of Aboriginal students enrolled,” she said.
“This centre will help to ensure that, rather than children playing catch-up when they start school, they are well prepared to go into pre-primary and prosper, which is even more important as pre-primary education becomes compulsory in 2013.
“Learning begins at birth and we know the early years are the most vital to a child’s development, so nutrition, good parenting and health care all play vital roles in helping prepare children to do well at school.”
Through the national partnership, the Federal Government has provided the State Government with $42.35million to establish five centres, with the other four located at Halls Creek, Fitzroy Crossing, Kununurra and Roebourne.
The Swan centre is expected to be completed next year, and open in January 2014.
Dr Constable said this was just one of many initiatives to improve the education and development of young children including:
State Government’s recently announced 10 Child and Parent Centres
Salary incentives to outstanding principals to attract them to most disadvantaged schools
Federal Government‘s allocation of $5.8million to build three Early Learning and Care Centres
Assessment of all children in public schools at the start of pre-primary to help teachers tailor learning programs to the specific needs of individual students
Introduction of compulsory pre-primary education for all children from 2013
Access to 15 hours of kindergarten a week, increased from 11, for all children by 2013.
Tender process will be conducted during 2013 to determine which organisation will run the centre
Operator will work closely with the Dept of Education to ensure all programs and services consistent with State Govt’s aims
Minister’s office - 6552 5700