Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Families first in expanded education program

Minister for Education Eva Lawler joined Minister for Children Nicole Manison at Ludmilla Primary School today, to see the first urban Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program in action.

Minister Lawler said expanding the FaFT program across the Territory was a key election commitment, to invest in children and families from the earliest years.

“The Families as First Teachers program teaches practical, meaningful skills to help parents support their child’s education, learning and wellbeing,” she said.

“The program helps parents develop practical skills such as preparing nutritious food for babies, or managing home finances, all designed to give kids the best start in life and the best chance of succeeding at school.

“Ludmilla Primary School is the first urban school to deliver the Families as First Teachers program and there are already approximately 50 families and their children accessing the program at Ludmilla.”

Minister Lawler said the FaFT program currently operates in 27 remote Indigenous communities and 10 additional sites, including five urban locations, will be in place across the Territory by the end of 2017.

The Northern Territory Government’s Early Childhood Development Strategic Plan – another key election commitment – is also well under way to deliver generational change for Territory families.

Minister for Children Nicole Manison recently announced the 14 local and national early childhood experts who will form the Early Childhood Development advisory panel and provide expertise advice to develop the Plan for Territory families.

Today Ms Manison confirmed Ms Olga Havnen and Ms Donna Ah Chee as the co-chairs of the panel, with world-leading expert Professor Frank Oberklaid as deputy chair.

“Working with families through programs such as FaFT, and listening to the advice of respected experts in the field of early childhood development will help deliver long term economic and social benefits for all Territorians.”

“Investing in Territory kids is the right thing to do, and the smart thing to do.   Investing in children now will build safer, fairer and stronger communities for the future,” Ms Manison said.

2017 expansion sites are listed below:

Ampilatwatja – Barkly

Jilkminggan-Mataranka –  Katherine

Minyerri – Katherine

Warruwi – Arnhem

Melville Island – Pularumpi-Milikapiti – Palmerston and Rural

Yirrkala Homelands – Arnhem

Early Intervention Learning Hub – Darwin

Palmerston Child and Family Centre – Palmerston and Rural

McFarlane Primary School – Katherine

Larapinta Child and Family Centre – Alice Springs

Media contact:  Lesley Major – 0419 288 284