Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Computer use encouraged through child care service incentive payment

A one-off incentive payment scheme to encourage wider use of computer technology by Australia’s child care services was announced today by the Federal Minister for Community Services, Larry Anthony.

“With the introduction of the Child Care Benefit payment from July 1, child care services will have to make some changes and have a golden opportunity to improve and simplify the way they manage information,” Mr Anthony said.

“Child care services which lodge two successive quarterly statements with Centrelink by computer disc before the end of June 2001 will receive a bonus payment of $1500.

“To be eligible for this payment, child care service providers can use any of the software programs approved by Centrelink for this purpose.”

Minister Anthony said electronic commerce has had a significant impact on business in Australia and the Government was keen to encourage the efficient use of computer technology by community services.

“The online revolution has been with us for some years now and the Government believes the use of this technology by child care service providers could deliver huge business benefits.

“This will certainly help services to achieve better outcomes for children and families. Anything that saves time on administration releases time for quality child care.

“The electronic data transfer we want to encourage through this scheme will achieve faster claims processing, reduced handling, greater accuracy and more timely payment information.

“The Department of Family and Community Services will provide further information on this new incentive payment to child care service providers shortly.”

The Minister made his announcement today at the opening of the Noosaville Conference of the Child Care Industry Association of Queensland.

“It gives me great pleasure to deliver this good news to an audience of dedicated child care professionals,” Mr Anthony said.