Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Helping child care services to support families

 Families and children across Australia, particularly in rural and regional areas, will benefit from the improved Child Care Support Program, Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony said today.

Mr Anthony today announced the results of the review into funding under the Child Care Support Program (formerly referred to as the ‘Broadband’) which includes an additional $25 million in funding, bringing the total to $226 million in 2004-05.

This funding is distinct from the $1.5 billion in the Child Care Benefit that is paid directly to families to help with their costs of care.

The Child Care Support Program is Australian Government funding to support child care services. It includes Quality Assurance, help for services to include children with special needs, training and professional support for child care staff, and support to help the viability of services, particularly in rural, remote and urban fringe areas.

“A review of this funding, announced in September 2002, was necessary to preserve and better use the unique features of Australian child care. Child care has undergone extensive changes in recent years due to significant increases in Australian Government funding, changes in work patterns and extending support to families using privately operated child care services.

“There has never been a comprehensive assessment of the program’s overall direction and the review was conducted with extensive consultation with the child care industry.

“The refocussed Child Care Support Program includes:

  • $60 million per year to support the inclusion of children with additional needs into child care.
  • $26 million per year for strategies that support the Government’s Child Care Quality Assurance System.
  • $138 million per year to support the establishment and viability of targeted services, particularly in rural and remote communities.

“This Program is a significant step towards providing better quality and more accessible child care throughout Australia and builds on the Budget commitments of 40,000 more Outside School Hours Care places, 4,000 more Family Day Care places and additional Playgroups.

“The Australian Government has committed a record $8.5 billion to child care over the next four years to help more Australian families, wherever they live, to balance their work and family responsibilities,” Mr Anthony said.