Hunter (Early Childhood Education) Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA)
|Date: ||9 February 2007|
|Sub Category:||Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA)|
|Location:||Hunter Region, New South Wales, Australia|
|Payments:||Proposed contribution - Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination (Cth) ($120,405)Proposed contribution - Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Cth) ($30,000)Proposed contribution - Department of Community Services (NSW) ($69,000 and in-kind support)|
|Subject Matter:||Collaboration / Partnership | Education | Youth|
|Summary Information: |
|The Hunter (Early Childhood Education) Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA) is an agreement between the Hunter Indigenous Community, the Commonwealth Government, the New South Wales Government and the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-op. The SRA states that its purpose is to increase indigenous children’s participation in early childhood education.|
Shared Responsibility Agreements are agreements between governments and indigenous communities to provide discretionary funding in return for community obligations. The new arrangements developed from an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments and replace the previous ATSIC system of funding. For more information see ‘Shared Responsibility Agreement’ below.
|Detailed Information: |
The purpose of this SRA is to increase the number of indigenous children attending early childhood education in Cessnock, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens. Studies have identified several barriers to attendance, including that mainstream early childhood education institutions do not cater well for indigenous children, and that parents and carers do not have enough information about early childhood education and the fee relief available.
The SRA provides funding for mobile pre-schools to work two days per week in indigenous communities in Cessnock, Lake Macquarie and Port Stephens. It also provides for five Aboriginal assistants to be employed and trained to work in the early childhood education. A family educator from the Department of Community Services will also work with the community to raise awareness of the importance of early childhood education, and work will be done with mainstream pre-schools to better support Aboriginal children.
The community will:
Through the Awabakal Newcastle Aboriginal Co-op, help to identify appropriate people to apply for early childhood traineeships;
Establish a pool of mentors from mainstream pre-schools to work with Aboriginal assistants and the new trainees; and
Parents will continue to participate in activities run by the Awabakal Co-op.
Families and individuals will:
Selected individuals will commit to completing Aboriginal Certificate III Child Care traineeships;
Commit to sending their children to mobile pre-school, and contribute fees where appropriate;
Work with the family educator to improve knowledge of the benefits of early childhood education;
Participate in the second, evaluative stage of the SRA, which will look at what is working and whether the activities should be broadened.
The Commonwealth Government, through the Office of Indigenous Policy Coordination, will provide $120,405 to establish five Aboriginal traineeships. They will also provide $30,000 through the Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) for resources to promote these proposals. The New South Wales Government, through the Department of Community Services, will provide $69,000 to employ a project coordinator, and will assist mainstream pre-schools to provide greater access to Aboriginal children, including around fee structures.
The funding of the SRA is subject to the partners entering into a legally binding funding agreement.
Performance Indicators and Feedback Mechanisms
The SRA provides for the following performance indicators:
1. Proportion of increase in playgroup activities, to be provided quarterly by the project coordinator;
2. Number of social and cultural events organised annually, to be provided quarterly by the project coordinator and the family educator;
3. Number of indigenous children participating in early childhood services, to be provided quarterly by the project coordinator and the family educator;
4. Number of indigenous children making the successful transition to primary school as a result of this SRA, to be provide annually by the project coordinator;
5. Number of people who transfer from CDEP to early childhood employment, to be provided annually by the project coordinator and the family educator; and
6. Number of traineeships awarded to indigenous people as a result of this SRA, to be provided by the project coordinator bi-annually.
SRA Monitoring Strategies
This SRA provides for three-monthly monitoring by the Coffs Harbour Indigenous Centre, as well as a SRA steering committee, that will oversee the SRA activities.