Grant funding of up to $100,000 will be made available to WA councils for programs aimed at improving the health and wellbeing of children aged up to 5 years.
WA Early Childhood Education Minister, Sabine Winton said the Local Government Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) Grant Program will support WA local governments to address the developmental needs of young children in their local community.
“The health and wellbeing of our youngest citizens is critical to them having a great childhood and preparing them for a healthy adulthood,” the Minister said.
“Research into child development overwhelmingly shows that focussing on early childhood health and wellbeing leads to improved school readiness, better outcomes while at school, and in education, employment, and health into adulthood, as well as reduced economic costs to government, communities, and families.
“Local Governments play an important role across a range of areas that support young children’s health and wellbeing, development, and learning and are well placed to work with their community to respond to their Australian Early Development Census data.”
The AEDC is population data collected every three years about young children’s development across five key areas linked to predictors of good adult health, education, and social outcomes.
For each AEDC cycle, the Commonwealth Government, through the State Government, provides funding to implement local programs in response to census data.
Minister Winton said a key priority for the grants is to support communities with relatively high levels of developmental vulnerability, as identified by their AEDC results, to implement initiatives and programs to improve early childhood outcomes.
“Using the 2021 AEDC data, local governments are encouraged to work with their communities to consider location-specific initiatives that will enhance developmental milestones for the young children in their community,” she said.
Requirements for proposed projects include active engagement with an existing Early Years Network or facilitating the development of an Early Years Network in collaboration with the community.
The LG AEDC Program is funded by the Commonwealth Government and the State Government through the Department of Communities in partnership with the Department of Education. The Western Australian Local Government Association is delivering the grants.
Applications close on Tuesday, 5 December at 2.30pm