Helping the children of asylum seekers

Wednesday 13 April 2022

Inner West Council will assist some of the 400 children of asylum seekers who are currently denied access to affordable childcare.

At last night’s Council Meeting, Councillors unanimously resolved to provide free early education to children whose parents are awaiting asylum seeker determination.

“While their cases are being assessed, asylum seekers can’t access early childhood subsidies,” said Councillor Mat Howard, who moved the Motion.

“Any Australian family would tell you that without those subsidies, early childhood education is simply unaffordable.

“An early education campaign by Sydney Alliance, Asylum Seekers Centre, Canterbury-Bankstown Council and Uniting has placed a number of families in preschools and childcare centres using unused places,” he said.

“Now Inner West will join them, working with the Sydney Alliance, their partners Jesuit Refugee Service and House of Welcome, and the Asylum Seekers Centre.”

According to the Sydney Alliance, there are approximately 400 children of asylum seekers in NSW in need of childcare.

“Until their parent’s case is assessed, these kids are missing out on the quality preschool experience that better prepares them for school,” Councillor Howard said.

“Missing out leaves children developmentally vulnerable.”

David Barrow, Lead Organiser Sydney Alliance said, “Inner West community and faith leaders in the Alliance called on Council to act and they have. Together we can create a little justice in our neighbourhood.”

"Childcare opens up many opportunities for a family, both the children and their parents," said Frances Rush, CEO, Asylum Seekers Centre.

"When you are seeking protection on a temporary visa the costs are a barrier to being able to have this opportunity. Initiatives like this one from the Inner West Council break down those barriers and send a message of welcome and acceptance to people seeking asylum," she said.

Settlement Services International (SSI)'s Manager Asylum Seeker Services, Margaret Brickwood, said that free childcare for children of asylum seekers is welcomed by SSI.

"SSI welcomes this much needed support of asylum seekers living in the community,” she said.

For media enquiries, contact Elizabeth Heath, Media and Communications Coordinator, 9392 5334 or

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Page last updated: 14 Apr 2022