Monday 28th June 2010
Hansard of the Legislative Council

Mr FINCH - It is good information.  Are there any questions on that section?

CHAIR - Have you finished with this?

Mr FINCH - No, I have not.  On page 3.10 there is a reference to early years that speaks of assistance and advice to childcare services and also funding contributions to NGOs.  I want to flesh out how that advice is given and how is the funding to the NGOs determined.  What is that notation about?

Ms GALE - The advice to childcare services is through the childcare unit when they do their licensing of the units.  They provide different advice to those services that they believe need to have some assistance through their licensing and the way that they run their services.  So that is what that refers to.  I am sorry; I did not hear the second part of your question.

Mr FINCH - How is the funding for NGOs determined and how is the advice given?  They were the two questions. 

Ms GALE - The funding for NGOs is basically on facilities type issues, so it is done again through the licensing program.  Where there are potential issues raised about licensing and whether perhaps they need additional equipment or part of the facilities need to be upgraded, it is then that those grants are provided to those non-government organisations to enable them to keep their licences.

Ms THORP - It is through an application system, is it not?

Ms GALE - Yes.

Mr FINCH - Is that quantified, Minister?

Ms THORP - Do we have figures on how much is distributed.

Ms GALE - We do.

Ms THORP - In the 2009-10 year, we have not totalled it, but under the neighbourhood model occasional care program, seven services received about $500 000 -

Mr FINCH - Each or total?

Ms THORP - Total.  Eighteen play centres received $122 000 totalled; play groups with Play Group Tasmania, which is one group but it assists a lot of other play groups, received nearly $50 000.  Then there was Play Group Tasmania Children's Week, $2 000; vacation care to four different services was nearly $23 000; Lady Gowrie Resource Library, $3 000; scholarships through Early Childhood Australia, 60 individuals - and that varies from year to year but it is up to 60 - of $35 000; mentorship as required $35 000; capital upgrade program, which is what Jenny was referring to, is ongoing but different services are funded each year, about $140 000.

Mr FINCH - How do NGOs find out about those services that are required?

Ms THORP - It is part of their licensing requirements so they would be inspected.

Mr FINCH - Yes, but is there a prospectus put out by the education department that these are the services that we are seeking to have introduced into our schools?

Ms THORP - The information on these grants would be on the website?

Ms GALE - Yes.

Ms THORP - Like all the other grant programs that are out there.

Mr FINCH - Then NGOs submit to get the funding?

Ms THORP - Yes.  Then depending on whether or not their application measures up and fits the criteria they would be given the funds or not.

Mr FINCH - One question from my electorate:  does the childcare unit that we have heard about relate to the Child and Family Centre, like the one at Beaconsfield?

Ms THORP - No.  The childcare unit has an oversight licensing -

Ms GALE - It would licence the childcare centre at Beaconsfield but not the broader Child and Family Centre itself.

Ms THORP - It is more an oversight group, keeping an eye on quality issues and licensing issues.  The Child and Family Centre - Beaconsfield is getting a different sort of a centre though,  is it not?

Mr FINCH - Yes, it is quite an interesting one.  It is federally funding linking up with the State -

Ms THORP - Beaconsfield is interesting like that, because they are like that with their health centre too, are they not? Their model for their health centre is a bit different too.

Mr FINCH - Yes.