Northern Territory Government Newsroom

Investing in Generational Change: Alpurrurulam pre-school officially open

Children of Alpurrurulam in the Barkly region are off to the best start in life thanks to a new, $2.5 million preschool officially opened today.

Investing in the crucial early years of Territory children’s lives is a key priority for the Labor Government, and Education Minister Eva Lawler said the new facility would provide early learning in the community for many years to come.

“Investing in our children is not just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do for the Territory’s future,” Ms Lawler said.

“We know the first years of a child’s life are so important and that access to quality early childhood education and care programs sets kids up for success at school and into adulthood.

“It is essential that all children across the Territory, no matter where they live, have access to a quality education in a positive and engaging learning environment.”

The new preschool is located adjacent to the Alpurrurulam School and creates a continuous learning pathway from the community’s Families as First Teachers (FaFT) program, aimed children aged under four and their families, to school.

The $2.5 million, purpose built building is designed to facilitate fun, adventure and engagement, with space for investigative stations so children can explore their sensory skills, tinker, paint and engage in traditional learning such as maths, science, language and culture.

Local Member for Barkly, Gerry McCarthy said that the Alpurrurulam Community have a long history of supporting early childhood, education through their pre-school program.

“This new infrastructure acknowledges the community’s commitment to healthy and engaged children and supports important generational change toward healthy and engaged youth and adults” said Mr McCarthy.

“As a former teacher in the Barkly for over 30 years, and now as Member for Barkly, I have maintained a close working relationship with the Alpurrurulam Community, the new pre-school officially opened today by the Minister for Education demonstrates a real and meaningful commitment by our Labor government to long term community development” said Mr McCarthy.

Alpurrurulam School Principal Elizabeth Milne said the community was proud of its preschool.

“It provides a purpose-built, contemporary, high quality learning space for the young children in the community,” she said.

“Our preschool is designed to ensure that students have full and equal access to facilities and learning spaces.

“Families know they are welcome to spend time at preschool with their children, talk to their teachers about what they are learning and find out how they can assist at home.”

The new preschool was constructed by Alice Springs company, Patrick Homes & Construction Pty Ltd. 

Ms Lawler said following the recent release of the Starting Early for a Better Future Early Childhood Development Plan, an additional $35.6 million in early childhood funding has been announced by the NT Government.

The additional funding will enable the establishment of 11 new Child and Family Centres and the expansion of the Families as First Teachers program to a further 14 sites by 2020.

Media contact: Kim Stephens 0417 683 144