14,650 more child care places
An extra 14,650 Outside School Hours Care places are being made available to further help parents wanting to work.
Families and Community Services Minister Mal Brough said the Howard Government was continuing to act on its 2005-06 Budget commitment to provide 84,300 additional OSHC places over four years.
Under the Howard Government, Outside School Hours Care places have significantly increased from 72,000 in 1996 to about 285,000 today.
Mr Brough said services are encouraged to apply for the latest 14,650 available places.
"The application process for the 14,650 outside school hours care places has now started and places will be allocated by late June 2006 to successful services across Australia," Mr Brough said.
"Places will be allocated to services in communities which have the highest identified need for child care, and will further assist parents in balancing work and family.
"Anyone wanting to start a new OSHC service or expand an existing service is encouraged to apply for these new places.
"This latest allocation comes on top of the 40,000 additional OSHC places allocated to services in 2004 and the 15,000 OSHC places allocated in late 2005.
"A third allocation round is scheduled for the first half of 2007 with places available in 2007-08.
"OSHC provides care for primary school children before and after school and during school holidays and provides stimulating developmental, social and recreational activities for children, while meeting the child care needs of families."
New or existing services should contact their State or Territory office of the Australian Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs on 1300 653 227 for further information. Applications close on 7 April 2006.