Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Last chance to have your say about child care funding

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today reminded those interested in child care that they have until 30 April to have their say on the redevelopment of the Child Care Support Broadband funding.

“In September last year, I announced that the Department of Family and Community Services would examine the current funding arrangements for child care services and support services. This funding allocation is known as the Child Care Support Broadband and is distinct from the support we provide through the Child Care Benefit payment.

“We have been undertaking a nation-wide consultation process with the child care sector about what is the best way to support child care into the future. The redevelopment has implications right across the child care industry, which is why it is so important that everyone involved takes the opportunity to have their say.

“The aim of the redevelopment is to reshape funding arrangements to increase the focus on the needs of children and families. While elements of the Broadband have been reviewed at different times there has never been a comprehensive and consultative assessment of its overall direction.

“Although the consultation meetings have now finished, interested parties still have until 30 April 2003 to make written submissions or fill in a response paper.

“The Coalition Government supports child care through the Child Care Support Broadband and Child Care Benefit payment. The Broadband amounts to approximately $180 million per year whilst Child Care Benefit will provide around $1.6 billion this year to assist families with child care fees. These two distinct programs support each other in providing quality, affordable and accessible child care for families.

“I have no pre-conceived view about the outcome of the redevelopment, and will await the feedback from the consultation process before making any decisions. The Government is being completely open and transparent in this review.

“Community Link Australia, the consultants who are running the consultation process, have set up a website with all the information you need to contribute to the consultations. People can also contact Community Link by telephone on (07) 3847 5188,” Mr Anthony said