Northern Tablelands MP Adam Marshall with Inverell & District Family Services Director Nicky Lavender, left and staff Wendy Cowperthwaite, Debbie Wilson, Kylie Hill, Jan Carr, Michelle Campbell and Sharon Staeder.
MEMBER for Northern Tablelands Adam Marshall has today announced a $35,000 funding boost for preschools in the Inverell district, as part of a one-off increase of $105,000 for preschools throughout the electorate to help improve access to preschool for children in rural and remote communities.
Mr Marshall visited the Inverell and District Family Services (IDFS) Kindamindi Preschool yesterday to meet with staff from its services through the district and to discuss the initiative.
He said that IDFS would receive individual grants of $7,000 for its mobile preschool service as well as preschools sites at Tingha, Ashford, Kindamindi (Inverell) and Jack & Jill (Inverell).
“This is a great opportunity for 15 of our region’s preschools and outreach services – they will each receive a one-off grant of $7,000 to introduce initiatives which will help them connect with families who are not sending their children to preschool,” Mr Marshall said.
“IDFS has a large footprint on our region and this new funding will be put to very good use to advantage students throughout the district.
“The aim of the initiative is to ensure children who are located in rural and remote areas are able to access quality early childhood education.
“We have long recognised that students achieve better results if they attend preschool before they enrol at a primary school level.
“Each preschool will now decide how to best use the funding to achieve the desired outcome. They may focus on providing transport for students or encourage parents to send their children to school through outreach information events.”
Mr Marshall said the program was part of the government’s rural and remote education blueprint, designed to support preschools’ outreach initiatives, improving engagement and universal access for hard to reach and vulnerable children in these areas.
Preschools can use the funding for activities such as:
• developing information resources to support parents in accessing and engaging with the preschool;
• engaging with the local Aboriginal community to encourage preschool participation;
• establishing partnerships with local schools, councils or bus providers, to provide transport to preschool for local children; and
• providing IT skills training to preschool staff to increase the online presence of the preschool.