Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

ABS Survey Proves Child Care Policies Are Working

Acting Minister for Family and Community Services, Larry Anthony, today welcomed the release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) publication Child Care Australia.

“This survey clearly shows, despite Labor’s claims, there are now more Australian families using child care as a result of the Coalition Government’s child care better management, ” said Mr Anthony.

“According to the ABS, families using formal child care has increased by 3 per cent – from 20 per cent in 1996 to 23 per cent in 1999.

“With 94 per cent of Australian families having their formal child care needs met, we are meeting the needs of families with our practical, flexible approach.

“The survey also shows that the number of low income families using formal child care has increased under the Coalition Government. It estimates around 33,000 children from families with incomes below $400 a week use long day care, compared with only 29,000 in 1996.

“These facts make a lie of Labor’s scare campaign, and their claims of a crisis in childcare,” said Mr Anthony.

Mr Anthony said the Government was working to further meet the needs of families with the Stronger Families and Communities Strategy.

“We are spending $65.4 million for Greater Flexibility and Choice in Child Care, improving the flexibility of childcare to better meet the needs of families to support their work and family choices.

“Families using formal child care will benefit from the Government’s tax reforms and increased family assistance.

“And the improved, simpler Child Care Benefit, into which we are putting an extra $600 million increasing payments to parents, helping even more families from July 1.”