Canterbury-Bankstown Council partner with Uniting to find early learning for asylum seekers
19 October 2018
Canterbury-Bankstown Council Mayor, Cr Khal Asfour, has announced a 12-month pilot providing free childcare to children of locally residing asylum seekers in local council-run centres. Uniting is hoping this will set a precedent for other councils with significant asylum seeker and refugee populations.
It’s a significant step for asylum seekers on bridging visas who are ineligible for childcare subsidies and have to pay upwards of $100 a day to access services; pricing many out of the market, and in turn, English classes or employment.
The move also comes at a time when NSW government funding for preschool is about to run out. Uniting is urging the government to extend funding and expand it to long day-care. Disadvantaged children, including those from refugee communities, are most likely to benefit from early learning but least likely to have access to it.
The Sydney Alliance, of which Uniting is a member, has been advocating for councils to offer supported childcare to asylum seeker families and will now work closely with local community agencies to identify recipients, and with Uniting Links to Early Learning to help the selected children and their parents in this transition.
Contact Media@uniting.org or 0457 568 938.