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Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

Children to benefit from over $9.5 million upgrade to childcare services across Australia

Essential facilities such as playgrounds, kitchens and bathrooms will be upgraded at 414 not for profit community-based child care services around Australia with over $9.5 million in funding from the Howard Government.

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, was today joined at Blacktown Anglican Childcare Centre by Local Federal Member of Parliament for Greenway, Louise Markus MP.

Senator Kay Patterson said, “The funding for these services demonstrates the Howard Government’s commitment to supporting services most in need to help ensure a viable child care industry.

“The successful services will use the funding to address health and safety issues and provide resources for the repair and renovation of buildings and playgrounds.

“Blacktown Anglican Childcare Centre will use its funding to replace softfall material in its outdoor area to meet health and safety requirements for its children.

“Elsewhere, a long day care centre in Port Macquarie, New South Wales, will use its funding to upgrade its under two’s area including an improved nappy change area and bottle and food preparation areas.

“These improvements are vital to providing a safe and healthy environment for children in care and will go a long way to assuring parents that the highest quality care is being provided to their children.

“This funding, which is part of the Howard Government’s Child Care Support Program, will further assist services to maintain and enhance the already high level of care they provide for children around Australia.

“The Howard Government recognises the need to support Australian families and a $260 million child care package announced in the 2005-06 Federal Budget will see 84,300 Outside School Hours Care places, 2,500 Family Day Care places and a further 1,000 In Home Care places become available.

“We are working towards providing Australian parents with flexible and innovative child care solutions and this funding will continue to build on the Australian Government’s commitment to families across Australia,” Senator Patterson said.