Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Increase in Child Care Benefit Rates

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, today announced that more than 540,000 families Australia-wide receiving Child Care Benefit will have their payments increased from 5 July.

“Families using approved full-time or part-time child care during the course of the year will benefit from an increase of 2.4 per cent to ensure payments are kept in line with increases in the cost of living and the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“Low income families will now be able to earn up to $32,485 a year and still receive the maximum rate of Child Care Benefit. Families with children in full-time child care will receive an extra $3.50 a week for one child and $7.30 a week for two children.

“The Australian Government has increased the rate of Child Care Benefit by more than 15 per cent since the payment was introduced in 2000. The maximum weekly amount of Child Care Benefit for full-time care in 2000 was $122.00 per week, increasing to $140.50 from 5 July 2004.

“The maximum assistance per week for families using full-time child care will increase from $137.00 to $140.50 for one child, from $286.35 to $293.65 for two children and from $446.96 to $458.32 for three children.

“There are around 763,000 children currently using Australian Government funded child care services across Australia. The number of families using child care continues to grow due to the generous assistance provided through the Child Care Benefit payment.

“The recent Budget included an additional $251 million for some important child care initiatives including:

  • 40,000 Outside School Hours places that will meet unmet demand;
  • 4,000 Family Day Care places that will meet unmet demand;
  • additional funding for programs including help for children with high needs to access mainstream child care and incentives for child care services to set up in areas of unmet demand.

“This comes on top of the $19.2 billion More Help for Australian Families package that will deliver the largest amount of assistance for families ever put in place by an Australian Government.

“Our commitment to child care will reach almost $8.5 billion over the next four years. We are currently directing $2,000 to families using approved child care through the Child Care Benefit payment and this latest increase will be even more help for Australian families,” Mr Anthony said.