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The Federal Minister for Early Childhood Education and Child Care Kate Ellis  announced $5.8 million for three new Early Learning and Care Centres in Western Australia.

The Australian Government will invest $5.8 million in building new centres at Karratha in the state’s north-west, and Darch and Mirrabooka in Perth’s northern suburbs.

The Karratha centre will be built at Tambrey Primary School with $2.2 million of Australian Government funding. It will provide 120 new long day care places for Pilbara youngsters.

Woodside Energy will provide more than $4 million over three years to the centre.

“This partnership is a fine example of how the Federal Government and local industry are working together to deliver high quality care and education for Australian children and their families,” Ms Ellis said.

“The Pilbara is key to our nation’s economic development and this service will help companies, like Woodside, to attract and retain a skilled workforce.”

About $1.8 million in Australian Government funding will be invested in centres at Darch and Mirrabooka.

Ashdale Primary School will host the Darch centre and will offer at least 50 new long day care places, while the Mirrabooka Early Learning and Care Centre will also offer about 50 new places.

All three centres will be built by 2010 on land contributed by the WA Government.

The construction of the centres on school sites presents opportunities for future integration of education and care services with junior schooling.

“The Australian Government is working hard to provide families with access to quality early childhood education and care,” Ms Ellis said.

“These centres will also provide more job opportunities and boost local economies.”

The Australian Government is continuing to discuss an Early Learning and Care Centre for Port Hedland with the WA Government.

An Autism-specific Early Learning and Care Centre was announced for Perth last month.

The new centres form part of the Australian Government’s $114.5 million plan to build 38 Early Learning and Care Centres by 2010.

This initiative is part of the Australian Government’s Education Revolution, which is improving early childhood care and education for Australia’s children and families.

Source  :  www.thegovmonitor.com

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A new report has found Australia’s migration program is more effectively meeting the needs of employers with a 60 per cent increase in the number of employer-sponsored skilled migrants to Australia in 2008-09 compared with the previous year.

The Report on Migration Program 2008-09 shows that the Rudd Government’s targeted approach to overseas workers is helping to fill critical skills gaps in the healthcare, engineering, financial services and IT sectors.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said that changes introduced in January including the Critical Skills List (CSL) of high value occupations and prioritising employer-sponsored or state/territory-sponsored skilled migration visa grants were having a significant impact.

Overseas workers who were sponsored by employers comprised 33 per cent of the 2008-09 skill stream compared to 22 per cent in 2007-08 and 17 per cent in 2006-07.
“A properly targeted migration program will ensure we have the right sized and appropriately skilled labour force to meet Australia’s needs now and into the future as our economy recovers and grows.”

The Government cut the 2008-09 permanent skilled migration intake in March 2009 by 14 per cent from 133 500 to 115 000 and reduced planning levels for the permanent skilled migrant intake in the overall 2009-10 migration program to 108 100 places.

“This is in direct response to the economic slowdown and represents an overall drop of almost 20 per cent on previous planning levels,” Senator Evans said.

“The migration intake in the coming year reflects the economic conditions while ensuring employers can gain access to skilled professionals in industries still experiencing skills shortages such as healthcare and engineering. “The reduction is being achieved through a cutback in places in independent skilled migration rather than in the high-demand employer-sponsored category or in areas in which Australia has critical skills shortages.”

Across all permanent skilled visa categories, the top three occupations for successful applicants were accountancy (6238), computing professionals (3879) and registered nurses (3355) while the top three countries of citizenship under the skill stream were the United Kingdom (23 178), India (20 105) and China (13 927).

“Australia’s migration program is better targeting the needs of Australian employers who are still experiencing skill shortages,” Senator Evans said.

Source  :  www.manmonthly.com.au

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ritary parkThis site is a guide to finding coffee in Perth’s playgrounds and parks, created by a Perth family.

We are a family of two children who love playgrounds, and two parents who love coffee. We made this website to tell other parents of places we have found in Perth where you have coffee in the park while the kids play on the playground. 

New changes – over the Easter weekend we changed the menus – the list of parks is getting bigger and we have divided it up into a Perth Playgrounds South and Perth Playgrounds North menu.  We are also compiling a list of great parks without coffee – due to the huge number of suggestions we have received from parents across Perth. 

What counts as a coffee in the park?                                                                                      

To count as an official ‘coffee in the park’ a park need to have two essential criteria – a playground and a nearby source of takeaway espresso coffee. The two must be no more than a short walk from each other. These free public parks are listed in the two Perth Playgrounds menus. 

We also know of many other great playgrounds that unfortunately don’t have a built-in source of caffeine, so while they don’t qualify as a coffee in the park, we have created a new category for the site called Great Parks – No Coffee and will soon list them here. 

Under the Other Cool Places menu we have included places to play that are ‘pay for entry’ or which are fun places to play, without actually being formal playgrounds.

www.acoffeeinthepark.com

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carpenter-full
THE federal Government has cut the skilled migration intake by a further 6900 people to help protect local jobs during the economic crisis.

But it will increase the number of people allowed to migrate to Australia for family reunions, the Government said yesterday as part of Budget 2009.

In March, the Government shed 18,500 skilled migration places in response to growing unemployment, which is forecast to hit 8.25 per cent in 2009-10.

The latest cut, the second to be made this year, brings the program down to 108,100 places in 2009-10.

Overall, the Government has slashed previous planning levels by close to 20 per cent.

Immigration Minister Chris Evans said the cuts would not be made to professions on the critical skills shortage list such as IT.

The migration intake in the coming year reflects the economic climate while ensuring employers can gain access to skilled professionals in industries still experiencing skills shortages,” Senator Evans said in a statement. The Government will provide more opportunities for family reunions by increasing the family component of the migration program by 3800 places to a total of 60,300 in 2009-10.

“This boost … will benefit Australians who seek to have their parents, partners or children join them to live here permanently,” Senator Evans said.

Overall, the migration program will total 168,700 for 2009-10.

www.news.com.au

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