More than 640 child care services in regional, remote and disadvantaged communities around Australia will share in more than $100 million to help improve access to care and increase workforce participation.
The Community Child Care Fund gives approved services critical funding that may be needed to keep them operating and increase the number of children they can care for.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said the Liberal National Government was committed to giving Australian families access to quality child care, regardless of where they live or their circumstances.
“In some remote areas, there may only be one or two child care services operating and it is critical we keep these open so families can access the care they need,” Minister Tudge said.
“Likewise, if we can help improve or expand facilities so more families in a remote or disadvantaged area can access care if they choose, then we won’t hesitate to do that.
“The funding also helps services to run initiatives that reduce barriers which may otherwise prevent local kids from accessing care.
“This program is good for families, good for communities and benefits local economies by allowing more parents to get back into work or to take on additional hours if they chose.
“It will also help achieve our Closing the Gap targets by increasing participation of Indigenous children in early childhood education and care.”
Minister for Regional Education, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie said the CCCF would help ensure care for thousands of regional families.
“These grants will have tangible benefits for child care providers in regional, remote and disadvantaged areas that will flow to children, their families and ultimately the community,” Minister McKenzie said.
“It means more hard-working families who live in communities where access to quality, reliable child care is not guaranteed, can take advantage of our Child Care Subsidy to work, learn or volunteer.”
Including today’s announcement, the Government has allocated more than $220 million to over 1,000 child care services through the Community Child Care Fund since 2018.
The Liberal National Government is investing around $10 billion in child care this year to support around 1 million families. Our Budget delivered further support to reduce the out of pocket costs for parents with multiple children aged under six in care and a commitment to a $2 billion preschool funding agreement for access to early learning for all children in the year before school.
Under the Government’s Child Care Package, average out-of-pocket costs for families remain more than a dollar an hour lower than before the package was introduced in July 2018 – three years ago.