Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Another $4 extra a week!

More than 530,000 Australian families receiving Child Care Benefit will have their payment increased from 7 July this year Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, announced today.

“Families using approved full-time or part-time child care during the course of the year will benefit from an increase of 3 per cent to ensure payment keeps pace with the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Low-income families will receive an extra $4.00 a week with one child in full-time child care and nearly $8.35 a week for two children in full-time child care. These families will now be able to earn up to $31,755 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 $133.00 to $137.00 for one child, from $278.00 to $286.35 for two children and from $433.91 to $446.96 for three children.

“Average Long Day Care weekly fees for 50 hours care is $186.00 for one child. A family receiving maximum rate of Child Care Benefit is then left with a gap fee of just over $1.00 per hour of care.

“The introduction of Child Care Benefit in July 2000 has seen a record 760,000 children using approved, high quality child care. Over the last four years we have spent $5.3 billion on child care and we have committed a further $8 billion over the four years to 2006-07.

“In addition to the increased Government assistance for child care, fee increases for centres have halved since the Coalition was elected making child care more affordable than ever before.

“Child care fees have increased by 4.7 per cent since 1996 compared to average increases of 8.5 per cent under the previous Labor Government. CPI has increased by 12 per cent since 1996 which means the cost of child care has increased far less than general prices.

“The Coalition Government is doing much more than just providing unprecedented funding. Parents now have more high quality and flexible child care options than ever before,” Mr Anthony said.