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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

$2.6 million to Help Community Child Care Centres

The Howard Government has committed an additional $2.6 million to upgrade essential services in not-for-profit community-based long day care centres, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson said today.

The funding comes from the $226 million Child Care Support Program and is part of the 2005 Minor Capital Upgrade (MCU) round, providing child care services with funds to address urgent health and safety issues.

“This funding is in addition to the $9.6 million announced under the MCU program in June, and will see over 140 new projects receive funding,” Senator Patterson said.

“Eligible services were able to apply for funding of $5,000 to $100,000 to help child care centres undertake the repair and renovation of buildings and playgrounds or to upgrade essential facilities such as air conditioning, shade structures, bathrooms and kitchens.

“Some of the projects selected for this round of funding include over $75,000 for the Bangalow Community Children’s Centre in regional New South Wales, to rebuild its bathrooms. The Lady Gowrie Child Centre, in Love St Brisbane, will use the funding to redevelop the playground and improve drainage.

“These improvements are vital to providing a safe and healthy environment for children in child care, and will go a long way to ensuring children are receiving the highest quality care,” Senator Patterson said.

Senator Patterson also announced today that, in addition to the nearly 17,000 Outside School Hours Care places announced in November, more than 1,600 relinquished places have been reallocated to existing services with the highest need.

“The Howard Government is providing record levels of Outside School Hours Care places and is delivering on its commitment to regularly monitor and reallocate unused places to areas with increased demand,” Senator Patterson said.

More information is available by calling the Department of Family and Community Services on 1300 653 227.