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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 01 Hansard (Wednesday, 3 May 1995) . . Page.. 165 ..

Our current innovation and good practice in early childhood education services will be enhanced through improved coordination of services encompassing day care and early intervention programs. The Early Childhood Services Unit within my department will continue with its significant support to preschools. The Children's Day Care Services program has the statutory responsibility under the Children's Services Act 1986 to license all child-care services in the ACT other than family day care. Also within its statutory role, it investigates any complaints about services and assists them to comply with licensing standards and to improve practice by providing professional advice and support.

The program is also involved in planning the provision of new services. Child care for labour market purposes such as employment and training is the responsibility of the Commonwealth Government. The Commonwealth did, however, enlist the assistance of the States in expanding the number of child-care services under the National Child Care Strategy. In the ACT, 82 places will be shared between Tuggeranong and Gungahlin in centres being constructed this year. A further 93 places will be established in 1996. Children's Day Care Services also administers ACT government funding for the National Child Care Strategy and to community organisations for the delivery of occasional care and vacation care services. An information service is also made available to parents about all types of child-care services, to assist them to find the appropriate care for their needs.

Ms Vickie Busteed has taken up duty as the executive director of the Children's and Youth Services Bureau. This is a key position in the management and development of children's and youth services to be delivered from my department through the bureau. Ms Busteed has worked in senior positions with the Department of Health and Community Care and was a deputy manager of Woden Valley Hospital. She has had wide experience in education as a teacher and resource teacher and in health as a manager, and in wider government policy development.

In conclusion, I believe that by creating the Children's and Youth Services Bureau we have filled a need in the ACT community for a better way of getting support and information to children, young people and families. In the next few months it will be clearly evident that services will be more flexible and useable and coordinated better. This, Mr Speaker, will be better for the people of the community, the children, young people and the families who use them. I table the statement, and I move:

That the Assembly takes note of the paper.

Debate (on motion by Ms McRae) adjourned.

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