D92

22 October 1997

Deputy PM to Open Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Childcare Centre

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade, Mr Tim Fischer, will today officially open the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's childcare facility, the Currawong Childcare Centre, in the R. G. Casey Building, as part of the Department's Children's Week activities.

As an agency committed to assisting staff to balance work and family responsibilities, the Department has for many years promoted a family-friendly work environment. The provision of workbased childcare is a practical demonstration of that commitment. Indeed, the Department recognises that giving priority to the personal and professional needs of its staff is vital to the achievement of its goal and objectives. Research and experience have shown that the returns to the organisation of such initiatives have been worth the investment.

The Centre, which is celebrating its first anniversary of operation, accepts enrolments from both officers of the Department and members of the public. A 60 place centre for children from birth to school age, it offers quality, affordable childcare in a modem environment conveniently located close to workplaces, schools and bus-stops. It is open 52 weeks of the year and includes all meals and a nappy service. The Centre's program embraces language, music, dramatic play, visual arts, physical development and activities that promote an understanding of maths and science. Qualified staff ensure the delivery of a quality educational program and parental involvement is actively encouraged.

The Centre will be holding an "open day" on Friday 24 October from 10-1lam and 3-4pm for interested members of the public and potential users of the Centre. All are most welcome to attend.

Further enquires to Melissa Hitchman (02) 6261 1376, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, or Lisa Syrette, Centre Director, (02) 6273 5911.