Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Child Care Benefit to increase

The 480,000 Australian families receiving Child Care Benefit will have their payments increased from 1 July this year, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony said today.

“Families using approved full-time or part-time child care during the course of the year will benefit from an increase of 3.1 per cent to ensure payment keeps pace with the Consumer Price Index.

“Low-income families will get an extra $4.00 a week with one child in full-time child care and nearly $8.40 a week for two children in full-time child care. These families will now be able to earn up to $30,806 a year and receive the maximum rate of Child Care Benefit.

“The maximum assistance per week for families using full-time child care will increase from $129.00 to $133.00 for one child, from $269.64 to $278.00 for two children and from $420.86 to $433.91 for three children.

“The introduction of Child Care Benefit in July 2000 has seen record numbers of children and families take advantage of all the benefits of approved, high quality care.

“Child Care Benefit has made child care more affordable for low and middle-income families, with child care costs having fallen by 13.1 per cent since
July 2000.

“Over the last four years we have spent $4.7 billion on child care – a 36 per cent increase on Labor’s child care spending in their last 4 years – and we’ll spend a further $6.7 billion over the four years to 2004-05.

“The Coalition is doing much more than just providing unprecedented funding. Parents now have more high quality and child care options than ever before.

“It is this flexibility and quality that has resulted in families using child care in record numbers,” Mr Anthony said.