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Yuendumu Families at the Centre

A funding crisis that threatened the future of the Yuendumu Childcare Service has been averted.

Central Desert Regional Council President Adrian Dixon said the Yuendumu Childcare Service was looking like it would need to close its doors in early May but that is no longer the case following a funding announcement from the Department of Prime Minister & Cabinet.

“We’re very pleased that the Government has supported the Yuendumu Childcare and playgroup. The Commonwealth will provide $1.6 million over the next two and a half years to ensure that the Yuendumu doors will remain open” Mr Dixon said.

“Childcare Services in remote communities are every bit as important as they are in Darwin, Adelaide or Melbourne. Getting the early years right is really important so that kids grow up strong and they’re prepared for school. Equally important is providing support to parents so that they can work or study. This
is great news for Yuendumu families.” Mr Dixon said.

According to Central Desert Regional Council CEO Cathryn Hutton, recognition of the real cost of delivering childcare services to remote communities is long
overdue.

“We’ve been working with both the NT & Commonwealth Governments to ensure services are financially viable. It’s excellent news that there’s been recognition of the cost of running the Yuendumu services. We’ve recently received encouraging signs from Minister Scullion. We are hopeful that the Government, through the Prime Minister’s renewed focus on childcare, will similarly invest in the operations of childcare centres in Nyirripi, Yuelamu and Atitjere.” Ms Hutton said.

In 2014 the Commonwealth Government invested approximately $4 million to build new childcare facilities in Nyirripi, Yuelamu and Atitjere however the former
Department of Education (now Social Services) has so far declined to commit the additional funding necessary to operate the centres.