Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Child care places double in Victoria

Victoria’s working families received a huge boost today with the announcement by Federal Minister for Community Services Larry Anthony of more than $6 million for school-aged child care places in the state.

Mr Anthony said the latest funding brought Victoria’s total school age child care places for families with children aged five to 12 years to 54,690 – more than doubling the 18,215 places available in 1996.

“This massive increase in care places for families with school age children has given Victorian’s greater options and flexibility when deciding how to balance their work and family commitments,” Mr Anthony said.
“The Outside School Hours Care programs provide before school, after school and vacation care with the latest places being spread across 192 services throughout Victoria.

“There is an increasing demand for this type of care in both metropolitan and rural areas and the Coalition Government will continue to ensure that new child care funding is targeted to areas of greatest need.

“I am pleased to say that a number of services will be established in regional Victoria – 18 country services have been funded to increase access to high quality care for families in the bush.”

The new services will receive more than $1.4 million to help operate and establish new places. The programs are specifically designed for school-age children and include a range of educational and recreational activities including sport, craft and music.

“The introduction of Child Care Benefit from 1 July 2000 simplified payments and made child care more affordable for families in Victoria.

“The Australian Bureau of Statistics found last year child care costs had fallen 15 per cent.

“There is no doubt that the Coalition Government has dramatically improved child care affordability, availability and flexibility.”