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Tuesday, 2 February 2016
Page: 29

Ms McGOWAN (Indi) (13:33): Colleagues, I would like to bring to your attention an innovative childcare service that operates in my electorate of Indi and my neighbouring electorate of Farrer. It is a unique cross-border, two states and Commonwealth funded service providing child care to families who live in rural areas where there are not enough children to make centre based care viable. Beginning life as Farm Based Child Care, Early Years Child Care, which is now based in Wodonga, provides child care to over 330 families, 450 children, between 20 and 25 rural locations, in seven local government areas, four in my electorate of Indi: Wodonga, Towong, Indigo and Alpine.

Today I would like to acknowledge the work of Anne Bowler in establishing this service. Anne is also National President of the Association of Mobile Services for Rural and Remote Families and Children. This is the national peak body for 43 budget based funded mobile services. I would also like to acknowledge four longstanding staff and thank them for their work: Diana Baude, Marsha Adhern, Melissa Greenham Peak and Tamara Smith. Beginning their work with a certificate III, they have now qualified with their bachelor degrees in early years teaching. Members, I would like to point out today that this is an effective service designed for rural people to meet rural people's needs. It is mobile. It might cost a small amount more to deliver, but it truly does deliver and it needs to be protected.