The key items in the package include $42.7 million to build an Early Childhood School in Franklin, $7.5 million to build a childcare centre in Holder, the release of five sites for childcare centres to be built, and $9 million to upgrade childcare centres in community facilities to help existing centres transition to new staff-to-child ratios and increase places.
The package consists of:
Franklin Early Childhood School
The 2011-12 ACT Budget will commit $42.7 through the ACT Department of Educationand Training to build Franklin Early Childhood School, which will incorporate a 120-place childcare centre as well as 300 places for preschool to year two students.
The construction of Franklin Early Childhood School will mean the ACT will have six early childhood schools providing 15 hours of free preschool, with co-located childcare and early primary school years.
Holder Early Childhood Centre
The ACT Government will also invest $7.5 million to build a 125-place childcare centre at Holder which will serve families in the South of Canberra and the new population centre of Molonglo. Holder Early Childhood Centre and Franklin Early Childhood School will be tendered to community-based childcare services.
Release of Five Sites for Childcare Use
The ACT Government today announced the release of five sites for childcare use at Macarthur, Holt, McKellar, Gungahlin and Giralang. With a low childcare place vacancy rate of 11 per cent, the Government recognises that accessibility and cost of childcare in the ACT is a major issue facing families, which is why it is increasing land supply to provide more affordable childcare places.
Upgrade to Community Childcare Centres
$9 million over two years to upgrade childcare centres in community facilities to assist centres in the transition to the new national reforms and provide a better quality service and extra childcare places for families.
Early Childhood Scholarships
Stemming from the recent Children’s Services Roundtable, Minister Burch also announced the Government will introduce a new scholarship program to assist the early childhood workforce to meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework.