NT Treasurer and Minister for Children Nicole Manison has announced a further $35.6 million investment in the Territory’s bright future – our children.
The Budget announcement is in addition to the $77.9 million in existing annual funding already allocated to Early Childhood Development.
Launching the Starting Early for a Better Future 2018 – 2028 Early Childhood Plan, Ms Manison said investing in children will drive generational change.
“We came to Government with a promise to put children at the centre of our decision-making, and we know this is the most important investment we can make,” Ms Manison said.
“Starting Early for a Better Future is the Territory’s blueprint to ensure Territory kids are ready for school, day one, term one, year one and Budget 2018 provides the funding over the next four years to support the Plan.
Ms Manison said Budget 2018 will see $35.6 million over four years in additional funding to:
- Establish 11 new Child and Family Centres and expand the existing six Centers.
- Expanding early childhood learning through an additional seven new Families as First Teachers sites in 2018-19, expanding to 14 in 2019-20
- Targeting hearing loss with an expansion Hearing Health Partnerships at four Families as First Teachers sites and engaging philanthropic funds to help reduce chronic ear disease
- Expand the Healthy Under-5 Kids Partnering with Families program , a health program for all families with children 0-5 years of age, in Tennant Creek, Katherine, Nhulunbuy, Darwin and Central Australian Remote Primary Health Care Clinics in 2018 and progress to the remaining primary health care centres in the following years
- Establish a Ministerial Advisory Council for Children and Young people to advise Government on issues affecting children and young people
Ms Manison said the significant investment into Child and Family Centres is a key recommendation from the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
“Families and Children Centres gets results because they have strong local decision making and they address the specific issues affecting their children in those communities.
“They are great resources for families to help get them the right support to ensure their child from when they are first born is reaching their important developmental milestones.
“We know investing in kids in the early years is not just the right thing to do, but it is the smart thing to do – when we help kids reach their developmental milestones they are more likely to well at school and as an adult.
“We have already expanded the Families as First Teacher program, enhanced the important Yellow Book for new babies and are expanding Home Visiting Family Partnership programs to support families through pregnancy, new babies and the first years of life across the Territory too.”
Ms Manison thanked the members of the Expert Reference Panel for their advice and assistance to Government in helping to form such a significant piece of policy.
“This Budget is about creating a brighter future for our kids – a future with more jobs, more people and more opportunity.”
Source: NT Government