Thousands of Western Australian parents will have peace of mind despite the July school holidays, thanks to special Government programs to keep children occupied.
Their children will be involved in art, craft or painting classes, theatre productions, performances by clowns, indoor games, special visits and excursions.
Community Services Minister Eric Ripper said today nearly $200,000 had been allocated to community groups across the State to provide Vacation Care and Sumfun programs during the July school holidays, which start tomorrow.
Mr Ripper said there would be some 3,000 vacation care places at 92 State-wide locations during the winter break. Fifty-four Sumfun programs, which catered for hundreds of children and young teenagers, were allocated a total of $50,000.
Four new vacation care services in Glen Forrest, Duncraig, Murdoch and Armadale, would operate during the holiday break. These were just part of a broad range of programs to be co-ordinated through the planned new children's services program in the proposed new Community, Family and Children's Services Department.
"Vacation Care supports families with parents in the workforce, while Sumfun provides some 'time-out' for parents who otherwise have full-time responsibility for children," the Minister said.
"This is part of the joint Federal/State child care strategy to ensure parents have access to quality, affordable child care."
Vacation Care and Sumfun are funded by the Department for Community Services and Office of the Family respectively.
Vacation care provides care for primary school-aged children of working parents, while Sumfun caters mostly for children aged between 11 and 15 years for particular days or half-days.
Mr Ripper said one innovative example of a vacation care activity would take place in High Wycombe during the second week of the July break.
"The WA Opera company will be performing a one day play for about 60 children younger than 12 years, living in the Shire of Kalamunda," he said.
"The play will involve children in the telling of the story through active participation and singing."
Mr Ripper said the children would then use these skills in a three-day program on the theme of 'Safety on the Road'.