INDEPENDENT NEWS

Sector Consultation Key To Early Childhood Food Programme Programme Roll Out

Published: Wed 8 May 2024 02:36 PM
The Early Childhood Council says the targeted Early Childhood Food Programme announced today has the potential to help community and low fee centres, but must be carefully implemented to work as intended, as some centres working with highly disadvantaged children may be set to miss out.
“It’s encouraging the programme aims to target support to those who need it most, like community owned and low fee centres, who often support low socio economic areas and have done it tough under the Pay Parity scheme,” said ECC CEO Simon Laube.
“The benefits of early learning are clear, and combining that with lunches for children who might otherwise miss out is potentially a big win. But with many centres already providing food, so it’s important this new programme doesn’t confuse or disrupt what’s already working well.”
“The potential is there to reinforce key values like choice and flexibility for parents when considering their child’s care and education, but the sector must be properly consulted before roll out, so children get maximum benefit for this investment.”
“We’re keen to see refinement of the programme’s targeting, for example, so all providers working with disadvantaged can qualify” said Simon Laube.

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