Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Indigenous, Rural and Remote Child Care Services to share in $10 Million

One hundred and eighty six child care services across Australia will share almost $10 million in funding this year under the Howard Government’ s Child Care Support Program.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, today said the funding would provide much needed support, particularly in areas where services are not currently available.

“One hundred and thirty three Indigenous child care services will share in almost $7.5 million to assist new and expanding services to provide access to quality child care,” Senator Patterson said.

“For example, two centres in New South Wales and Victoria will use the funding to purchase buses to allow Indigenous children access to child care services.

“Children in Indigenous areas often face physical barriers in accessing services and this funding will assist in making child care more accessible for these isolated communities.

“A number of these projects will be developed under the shared responsibility framework between the Howard Government and Indigenous communities to improve outcomes for Indigenous families and children.

“A further fifty three child care services will share in almost $2.5 million this year to help provide families in rural and remote communities with access to quality child care.

“These funds will also be used to replace some of the vehicles used by a number of mobile services that provide child care to families living in the more remote areas of Australia.

“The funding will benefit rural and regional families as it will assist the provision of child care that is specifically targetted at meeting the needs of these areas, which are often different from families in larger regional or metropolitan centres.

“In rural and remote areas, families often have fewer child care choices than their city counterparts and it is important that wherever possible, services in these areas are given additional support.

“This allocation of funding is part of the Howard Government’s strong commitment to helping families access quality child care throughout Australia,” Senator Patterson said.