Media Release by The Hon Larry Anthony MP

Budget Delivers more Child Care Places

 The Australian Government’s 2004-05 Budget will provide additional funding of $147.5 million for more child care places to help even more Australian families balance their work and family commitments.

Funding includes:

  • An additional $97.1 million for 30,000 Outside School Hours Care places;
  • An additional $34.1 million for 1,500 Family Day Care Places; and,
  • An additional $16.3 million over four years for the Child Care Support Program to establish new child care services in rural, regional and Indigenous communities and to assist children with additional needs to access quality child care.

The 30,000 additional Outside School Hours Care places will go to new and existing services to meet the current verified demand. Places will start being allocated from 1 July with all additional places being distributed before the end of 2004 and will take Government funded Outside School Hours Care places to around 270,000.

The increase of 1,500 Family Day Care places will also be allocated from 1 July with all additional places being distributed before the end of 2004. This increase will take Government funded Family Day Care places to more than 72,500.

This boost comes on top of the additional 10,000 Outside School Hours Care places, 2,500 Family Day Care places and 4,000 playgroups announced in December 2003. Taking this into account, this Budget announcement takes our commitment to an additional $251.1 million over 5 years.

Additional funding of $16.3 million will establish up to 13 new flexible child care services and will assist children with additional needs access mainstream child care, such as those with disabilities, Indigenous children and children from different cultures. It will also provide help for rural and remote families to access high quality, affordable child care, often for the first time.

This additional funding will form part of the redeveloped Child Care Support Program, formally known as the ‘Broadband’. I will be announcing the outcomes of a review of the Broadband shortly.

Our total funding commitment of more than $8 billion for the next four years will ensure Australian families have access to a range of child care choices and is delivering an average payment of more than $2,000 per year in Child Care Benefit per family.

The 2004-05 Budget continues the Australian Government’s strong record on providing child care options for families and is supporting Australia’s most important assets – our families and children.