The Kowanyama community is set for a boost in early childhood education after the council secured new funding through the Community Childcare Fund Restricted (CCCFR) Expansion Closing the Gap grant opportunity.
This funding came as the Albanese Government announced an extension to early childhood education and care services in the region earlier this month.
Executive manager of community services at Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council, Ani Seruvatu, expressed her excitement for the benefits.
“This expansion significantly enhances the availability of high-quality early childhood education in our community, aligning with our dedication to the wellbeing and development of our children – the future generation of Kowanyama,” she said.
Kowanyama Aboriginal Shire Council CEO Kevin Bell also underlined the positive impact the funding will have.
“It marks a substantial stride towards creating a brighter future for our community. With the backing of the Community Child Care Fund, we can enhance early childhood education and care services, ensuring greater access for Kowanyama families,” he said.
Mayor Robbie Sands said the funding would give more residents a chance to enter the workforce while “their children received proper care in a local facility”.
“We eagerly anticipate the positive transformations it will bring to Kowanyama,” he said.
SNAICC, the national peak body for Indigenous children, will serve as a community partner for these new services, guaranteeing they are community-led and culturally sensitive, addressing the unique needs and values of Kowanyama’s residents.
This expansion is part of the $575 million Community Childcare Fund, which aims to eliminate barriers to early childhood education participation by supporting the establishment and sustainability of services, particularly in regional and remote areas across Australia.