- Sustainable childcare services in the Wheatbelt region to improve childhood development, employment opportunities and economic prosperity
Childcare services in the Wheatbelt region will now be stronger and more sustainable with an investment of $1.4 million, benefiting families and regional businesses.
The State Government, through the Regional Community Child Care Development Fund, and Lotterywest today announced joint funding to support the implementation of the Regional Early Education and Development Inc (REED) organisation, which will enable community-based centres to merge under a single banner.
Good quality childcare services are important for children's development, their families, and for the economic and social fabric of communities in the Wheatbelt region. For a decade, the sustainability of services in the Wheatbelt region has been a challenge, despite Commonwealth, State and local government financial support.
The investment will ensure childcare services:
- Continue to be provided across the Wheatbelt region for the benefit of children and their families, and local businesses; and
- Are sustainable and can continue to deliver high-quality programs which contribute to children's development in their critical early years.
Supporting the mergers will be REED's nine-member board, which brings high-level expertise to its governance role. A central management structure based in Narrogin will free individual management committees from complex governance and legal responsibilities while retaining quality services for children and families in their communities.
The Regional Community Child Care Development Fund is funded by Royalties for Regions.
Comments attributed to Community Services Minister Simone McGurk:
"In regional WA, the provision of childcare is a challenge, in part, due to the difficulty of keeping small, sometimes isolated, community-based services viable.
"If we didn't change the way childcare services were being managed in the regions, we faced serious risk of childcare centres closing, a lack of skilled workers and negative impacts on child development with long-term consequences.
"Childcare services generate and support local jobs. They facilitate economic development and jobs growth by supporting parents to re-enter the workforce while raising their children.
"Childcare services can often be a factor in a family's decision to either relocate or stay in a rural community, and that's also why we're pleased to support the development of services that are both sustainable and meet local needs."
Comments attributed to Regional Development Minister Alannah MacTiernan:
"Regional communities have made it clear that access to childcare is critically important to retaining young families in the regions and increasing the participation of women in regional economies.
"This is a good investment of Royalties for Regions funding, helping to strengthen workforce participation in the Wheatbelt."
Community Services Minister's office - 6552 6600
Regional Development Minister's office - 6552 6200