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Delivering for children in the bush

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The Territory Government has delivered on another key election commitment, officially opening the Jilkminggan-Mataranka Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program.

NT Minister for Education Eva Lawler said FaFT provides a quality early childhood and family support program for young remote children aged from birth to the year before they commence preschool and their families.

“We came to Government promising to restore trust so it’s important we deliver on this key election promise to expand the Families as First Teachers program – I’m delighted to see this becoming a reality for families in Jilkminggan and Mataranka,” Ms Lawler said.

“The Territory Government believes that all children have the right to a great start in life – investing in early learning isn’t just the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do for the Territory’s future.

“We know that birth to five years is a key learning time and FaFT is one way that we are giving children the best possible start in life while at the same time, giving their families access to support programs and resources.”

The FaFT program will be delivered in Jilkminggan and Mataranka by an experienced early childhood teacher (Family Educator) and supported by a local Aboriginal Family Liaison Officer.

“The program is operating every day and is directly benefiting the children by engaging them in learning activities and getting them into a routine before they commence school,” Ms Lawler said.

Principal of Jilkminggan School Jess Robinson said it has been fantastic to see the level of engagement by the families and children in the FaFT program.

“We know we have to get our kids learning early, so it’s exciting to see them engaged and enthusiastic at such a young age, supported by their families who are just as excited as them,” Ms Robinson said.

“We are getting a large proportion of consistent attenders in the FaFT program and it’s great to see families genuinely excited about participating in activities with their children.”

The Families as First Teachers program currently operates in 30 remote communities and two urban sites.

The program will expand to a total of 33 remote communities and five urban sites by the end of 2017.

Source: NT Government

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