Deputy Prime Minister and Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce has welcomed the allocation of an additional $2.367 million to support vital regional child care services and help meet the needs of local families.
Mr Joyce said 19 services will receive funding through the Liberal-National Government’s Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) which helps improve access to child care and increase workforce participation in remote, regional and disadvantaged communities.
“The funding will help local child care services improve access to quality care, particularly in more rural parts of the New England electorate,” Mr Joyce said.
“It will be good for our kids, good for our hard-working families and ultimately for our community. It will also have a positive economic benefit by allowing more local parents to get back into work or to take on additional hours if they chose,” Mr Joyce said.
“The funds will support services in areas such as Guyra, Glen Innes, Tenterfield, Uralla, Kootingal, Nundle and the Upper Hunter that may need support to keep operating, or to fund capital projects to improve services and increase the number of places available. (A full list of funding is attached and at the end of the email).
Minister for Education and Youth, Alan Tudge said more than 640 child care services around Australia would share in more than $100 million through the program.
“We are committed to giving every Australian family access to quality child care, regardless of where they live or their circumstances,” Mr Tudge said.
“In some remote areas, there may only be one or two child care services operating and it is critical we keep these open and help improve and expand facilities so more kids can attend.
“This program also helps services to run initiatives that reduce barriers which may otherwise prevent local kids from accessing care,” Mr Tudge said.
Minister for Regional Education, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the CCCF would help ensure child care continued to be available for many families in New England.
“These grants will have tangible benefits for child care providers that will flow to local children and their families. It means more New England families can take advantage of our child care subsidy if they choose to work, learn or volunteer.” Senator McKenzie said.
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 Morrison/Joyce Government is investing around $10 billion in child care this year to support around one 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 years before school.
More information on the Community Child Care Fund can be found on the Department of Education, Skills and Employment website.