Aboriginal children and children from low income families in the Goulburn Electorate will have additional support to participate in 600 hours of quality early childhood education in the two years prior to school.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said that six early childhood services received grants allowing preschool students to engage and learn in their earliest years.

SDN Children’s Services, Crookwell Preschool and Lady McKell in Goulburn were each awarded $9,900 in addition to Big Fat Smile Group in Bundanoon, Robertson and Reynolds Street Goulburn awarded $10,000.

“Grants of up to $10,000 have been approved for a range of activities to support participation by Aboriginal children and children from low income families in a preschool program,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“Our community has faced a number of challenges over the past few years. Early learning services play a critical role in supporting children and families. It’s fantastic to see this funding being made available to support the work of these services in the Goulburn electorate.”

Jodie Ledbrook, Head of Services at SDN acknowledged the National Agreement on Closing the Gap report.

“SDN is pleased that the NSW Department of Education, through awarding these community grants, are committed to increasing the participation rates of our vulnerable children.

“SDN places great importance on delivering sustainable initiatives. We look forward to working with the local community to identify the strategies to increase access and participation and the best possible outcomes for children,” Ms Ledbrook said.

For the first time, Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s Services and Aboriginal Child and Family Centres operating in NSW were included in this program.

Funding may be used for a range of activities that improve participation in early childhood education, including working with local Aboriginal community members to conduct Aboriginal art programs, and providing breakfast programs.

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said these grants will enable services in the region to provide educational activities that will strengthen the foundations of children’s learning in those crucial years before school.

“The NSW Government is committed to increasing educational access to quality early childhood education services, particularly for children from low income families and those from Aboriginal families,” Ms Mitchell said.

“They’ll also be able to provide access to specialised staff to deliver targeted support to children and their families.”

For more information, visit the Department of Education website.