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Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Survey – child care changes positive for families

More families are using child care since the Federal Government’s Child Care Benefit (CCB) made it more affordable, Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony said today.

Mr Anthony today released a survey commissioned by the Department of Family and Community Services, showing a 22 per cent increase in children using long day care, 16 per cent increase in outside school hours care and at least 14 per cent increase in family day care.

Datacol conducted the survey in April 2000 and October 2000 to assess the impact of the Government’s tax changes on child care.

“The Government’s CCB is clearly making child care more affordable, which is in turn helping Australian families,” Mr Anthony said.

Other key findings showed:

  • Long day care use has increased by approximately 55,300 children in 38,200 families and;
  • The number of hours used in long day care has increased by 17 per cent and in family day care has risen by 5 per cent.
  • There has been a lower than average rate of fee increases since the introduction of CCB, with long day care centres increasing fees by an average of only 2 per cent, family day care 4 per cent, and outside school hours care by less than 1 per cent.

Mr Anthony said that the findings clearly demonstrated the positive impacts of the Howard Government’s child care policies.

“Tax reform has given families extra income to meet the costs of raising children and the Child Care Benefit has cut the cost of child care for families,” Mr Anthony said.

“Low and middle-income families using Commonwealth approved child care have benefited most, which means that help is going to families most in need.”