Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Howard Government delivers more Outside School Hours Child Care places

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson today announced a new allocation of over 6300 Outside School Hours Care places.

‘The new funding is part of the Government’s May Budget allocation of an additional 40,000 Outside School Hours Care places,’ said Senator Patterson.

‘The 2004-05 Budget continued the Australian Government’s strong record of providing child care options for families, giving parents the opportunity to look for work or study and provide a better future for them and their children.

‘This new allocation brings the total number of Outside School Hours Care places to more than 270,000, a dramatic 275 per cent increase on the 72,000 places available when the Howard Government first came to office

‘The allocation of these additional Outside School Hours Care places is just one more example of the Government’s strong commitment to helping families manage what can be a difficult and stressful balancing act.

‘Outside School Hours Care is a great option for parents of school age children, with many families relying on these services to help them balance the demands of work and family,’ said Senator Patterson.

The Government is also moving to introduce the 30 per cent tax rebate for out-of-pocket child care expenses from January 1 and to provide increased access by grandparents to the Child Care Benefit under its Extra Assistance for Families Package.

Outside School Hours Care services mainly provide care for primary school children. Programs provide a variety of experiences suited to the age and developmental ranges of all children attending the service. Families using these services will be able to claim Child Care Benefit to assist with the cost of care.

State by state allocations are as follows: ACT has been allocated over 300 places, NSW over 1100, the Northern Territory over 120, Queensland over 2400, South Australia over 430, Tasmania over 200, Victoria over 1000 and Western Australia over 580 places. Individual service allocations have not yet been determined in all states.

For more information about child care, families can call the Commonwealth Government’s national Child Care Access Hotline on 1800 670 305.