Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

More support for children with special child care needs

Families who have children with high support needs will receive a boost from the Federal Government’s 2003 – 04 Budget with funding of an additional $25.8 million over four years for the Special Needs Subsidy Scheme (SNSS).

SNSS was introduced by the Coalition Government in 1997 and is currently supporting 3,700 children. The demand on places has risen substantially over recent years. This extra funding will enable around 1,250 additional children and their families to access this highly successful program and will meet current demand for more SNSS places.

The funding will allow child care services to employ additional child care workers, contribute to the purchase of specialised equipment and assist with the training of child care staff so that children in their care can receive the best possible support.

The SNSS nurtures children’s development and supports families that want positive, developmentally appropriate environments and quality care for their children who have special needs.

It is really important that these children can have the opportunity of being with other children, and take part in the experiences that child care can provide.

Access to affordable, quality child care plays a vital role in meeting the developmental, educational and social needs of young children.

Without access to mainstream child care, families who have children with special needs can find it difficult to access the care they require.

Child care has been a success story of the Coalition Government. We expect to spend $21 million on SNSS in 2002-03. With this additional funding, no one can question our commitment to making child care for families with children who have special needs more flexible, affordable and available.

More information about Budget 2003-04