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Specialist staff for local child care centres



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Minister for Aged, Family and Health Services Hon. Peter Staples M.P.

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Parliament House, Canberra Phone (06) 277 7220 Fax (06) 273 4146

23 December 1992 PS508/92

SPECIALIST STAFF FOR LOCAL CHILD CARE CENTRES

A trial initiative offering specialised advice and support to commercial and employer-provided child care centres in St George, Bankstown and Campbelltown is to be extended for a second year with the announcement today of extra Federal Government funding.

The Federal Minister for Aged, Family and Health Services, Peter Staples, said the Ethnic Child Care Development Unit, based at Marrickville, would receive $67,600 to continue providing training and advice to local child care centres.

Mr Staples said the workers would help staff develop programs focusing on the needs of children of a non-English speaking background as well as those with a disability.

"Children who have a disability often require specialised care because of certain physical barriers," Mr Staples said. "Likewise children of a non-English speaking background can face cultural barriers.

"By employing staff with the skills and experience to meet the needs of these children, the Federal Government is helping to provide families whatever their circumstances or background with access to a high quality child care service."

Mr Staples said the funding was part of a $2.6 million Australia-wide package which would provide specialist services to commercial centres similar to those available in Government-funded centres.

"This initiative complements the Federal Government's decision to provide fee relief to parents whose children attend commercial child care centres," he said.

"It will give child care workers the opportunity to develop a better understanding and expertise in caring for children with special needs and to more supportively integrate them into the routines and programs of mainstream centres."

Mr Staples said the initiative would operate on a trial basis until the end of July 1993, with further expansion subject to an evaluation.

Contacts: Glen Turner (02) 225 3810

Mark Flynn (02) 225 3680

Portfolio of Health, Housing and Community Services