Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Coalition continues record spending on child care

 The Coalition will continue to deliver the best possible child care for Australian families Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, said today.

“Since coming into office in 1996, the Coalition has worked hard to deliver a world-class child care system, making the task of balancing work and family commitments considerably easier.

“The turning point was the introduction of Child Care Benefit in July 2000. This has seen the cost of child care fall markedly, with families now paying 10.2 per cent less for child care.

“From 1 July this year, families will find child care even more affordable, with Child Care Benefit payments to be boosted by 3.1 per cent.

“There are now a record 711,000 children in child care, with a net increase of 2,000 child care services since 1996 and an extra 194,000 places.

“Providing affordable, flexible and high quality child care is a vital part of our efforts to support Australian families. Our record spending in this area will not fall away.”

Mr Anthony said that the Coalition’s unprecedented investment had benefited the hundreds of thousands of Australian families who use some form of Commonwealth approved child care.

“Families around the country have voted with their feet. They are benefiting from flexible and affordable child care which meets the developmental, educational and social needs of Australian children.

“We have allocated a more than $8 billion for child care over the four years to 2005-06. This is an unparalleled commitment to delivering the best possible child care for Australian families.”