Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Victorian child care places continue to grow

In the last year the number of child care places in Victoria has grown by nine per cent to 152,494, following the Howard Government’s initiative to uncap new places for most child care services in Australia.

Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said that in the past year alone the number of child care places in Victoria had increased by 12, 594, which could provide places for up to 62, 970 children.

"The number of child care places in Victoria has more than doubled under the Howard Government, from 70,468 places to 152,494 places," Mr Brough said.

"The removal of caps on the number of approved child care places for Outside School Hours Care and Family Day Care was one of the most significant changes to the provision of child care places in Australian public policy history.

"Services can now set up or expand to meet demand where and when it occurs, provided they meet approval conditions including quality and licensing requirements.

"Uncapping places on Outside School Hours Care and Family Day Care, along with Long Day Care, has given the industry the scope and incentive to meet growing demand."

Vacancy data from the Child Care Access Hotline showed that an average of around 29,000 places were available in Victoria on working days in the week beginning on the 16 July 2007.

"To provide even greater support for families using child care, the Child Care Benefit increased by 13.3 per cent from 1 July 2007 – a 10 per cent increase on top of the regular indexation increase.

"We’ve also improved Child Care Tax Rebate, which provides working parents with up to 30 per cent of out of pocket child care expenses up to $4,211 per year per child to ensure it’s paid sooner and that more people can access the full benefit.

"The Howard Government supports families’ choices about how they balance work and family commitments and is providing unprecedented support for families," Mr Brough said.

Child Care Vacancies in Victoria – 16 July to 20 July 2007
Mon 16/7 Tues 17/7 Wed 18/7 Thurs 19/7 Fri 20/7
32,313 27,638 27,609 26,954 30,601