MORE SUPPORT FOR OUT-OF-SCHOOL-HOURS CARE IN TWEED Member for Tweed Geoff Provest is encouraging not for profit providers of out of school hours care to apply for grants to expand or establish new services to provide flexible options for working families in Tweed. Mr Provest said the announcement of the expansion to the criteria for the $20 million Before and After School Care Fund is a great opportunity for not for profits to apply for the $30,000 grants. “Many families in Tweed rely on before and after school care to juggle work and other commitments, Mr Provest said. “Opening the fund to not-for-profit service providers means extra support to help community spaces offer out of school hours care and ease the burden in areas of high demand. “Every school community in Tweed has different needs and these changes will have real benefits in areas where schools don’t have the capacity to establish or further expand services on site.” Minister for Early Childhood Education Sarah Mitchell said grants from the fund can be used for site modification and fit-out costs, project management, or to pay for necessary equipment to support new or expanded services. “More than 160 schools and five local councils have taken advantage of the fund,” Mrs Mitchell said. “We know families need flexibility, so we’re providing a flexible approach that allows not-for-profits, local councils and schools to provide more care options. “NSW has a diverse early childhood education sector, and this Government has choices in place for families so that they can choose a centre that meets their needs.” As part of these changes it is also now possible for community organisations to pool their resources and prepare a joint proposal. Since 2011, the Liberals & Nationals Government has spent more than $1.6 billion in Early Childhood Education, investing $382 million this financial year alone. For more information, visit the Department of Education website at www.dec.nsw.gov.au/our-services/children-and-youth/out-of-hours-school-care-grant.