Media Release by The Hon Mal Brough MP

Further Strengthening Australian Child Care

A 20 per cent increase, to $45.5 million, in base funding to Budget Based Funded (BBF) child care services will further strengthen Australia’s child care sector and better support families and their children who rely on these services.

In announcing the initiative today, Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Mal Brough, said the increase in funding would provide further support to about 360 services nationally.

“BBF is one component of the Child Care Support Program (CCSP), providing support for flexible services predominately in rural, remote and Indigenous communities that do not, or are not eligible to, participate in the Child Care Benefit (CCB) system,” Mr Brough said.

Eligible services include Mobile Child Care services, Multifunctional Aboriginal Children’s (MACS) Services, JET Crèches, Indigenous Playgroups and some Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services.

“Many services are feeling the impact of increased running costs, in particular wage increases especially in rural and remote areas where families are already feeling the pinch, and something needed to be done.

“The Howard Government listened to feedback from the child care sector and is committed to supporting the important role played by these services.

“These services also received a one off equipment grant up to $20,000 last month which could be used towards furniture, toys, equipment, bikes, toys, books, games, white goods, cots, change tables, outdoor play equipment, minor repairs and maintenance.

“The benefits for these services will see increased support for staffing, better services and infrastructure upgrades,” Mr Brough said.

The Australian Government recognises the importance of positive early childhood experiences and directly supports a range of child care services to ensure families living in rural, remote and Indigenous communities have access to flexible child care services.