The Communities for Children local initiatives are funded through the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy (FACS). This strategy draws on the National Agenda for Early Childhood (NAEC) to inform its policy and program development.
The National Agenda for Early Childhood was developed to offer a national framework for programs and policy for children 0-5 years. It recognises that “early childhood is very complex and no single agent acting on its own will be able to make the difference needed for [better] outcomes” (p.5). It acknowledges the existence of many good programs and policies across government, services and communities, but also observes that many of these programs and policies have been developed independently of each other and are financed through various funding streams and levels of government. “This has resulted in a fragmented approach to policy and the delivery of assistance” (p.7). The NAEC offers therefore an overarching framework to assist the different sectors in working collaboratively together towards a better future for our children.
NEAC acknowledges that there are many potential areas that could improve the outcomes for children. However, to streamline governmental efforts they advise to focus on 4 priority areas.
- Healthy Young Families, e.g. ante and postnatal care, child physical development and nutrition
- Supporting families and parents, e.g. parent education, father engagement, family well-being and health, family functioning, and relationship maintenance
- Early learning and care, e.g. child cognitive, social and emotional development, play-based learning, literacy, and transition to school
- Community capacity building, e.g. engagement of hard-to-reach community groups (e.g. Indigenous community, caravan park residents, socially isolated families), building social capital, and volunteerism
The C4C projects in Raymond Terrace and Karuah are based on these priority areas