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Working together for better children's services.



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Hon. Larry Anthony, MP Minister for Children and Youth Affairs

13 July 2003

WORKING TOGETHER FOR BETTER CHILDREN'S SERVICES

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced a new partnership involving the Commonwealth Department of Family and Community Services and the NSW Department of Community Services.

"I am very pleased to be working with the NSW Minister for Community Services, Carmel Tebbutt, on the Child and Family Service project," Mr Anthony said.

"This project is an example of governments working with local communities to support Australian families and strengthen communities.

"Families living in Wyong on the Central Coast and in the rural communities of Culcairn and Lockhardt in Riverina will play a key part in the project which is all about exploring ways of delivering more flexible family services to families.

"Research indicates that the quality of experiences in early childhood, in whatever setting, has a significant influence on child development.

"Many parents use a range of services for the care and education of their young children which is why it is important that they have access to flexible high quality programs that meet all the needs of their children.

"There is a serious need in the Wyong, Culcairn and Lockhardt communities for integrated children's services.

"For example in the Wyong and Lockhardt areas, children under five years make up nearly 10 per cent of the population compared to 8.5 per cent for the whole of NSW.

"This initiative is based on a Canadian project, and aims to involve communities in early childhood development and build local partnerships to assist the government in addressing unique local needs.

"The Coalition Government is committed to providing flexible high quality child care options that are tailored to meet the individual needs of Australian families.

"I look forward to working closely with Minister Tebbutt and support the NSW Government's commitment to improving outcomes for children - a task that the Coalition Government is also strongly committed to," Mr Anthony said.