Families using child care in record numbers thanks to increased Government investment
- Minister for Employment Participation
- Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care
A new report shows that almost one million Australian children are using child care thanks to record Government investments, which are making child care services more affordable for families.
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis today released the newest edition of the Government’s Child Care Update publication, which shows that more than 950 000 children were using early childhood education and care services in March 2011- up 8.2 per cent on a year earlier.
The publication also reveals that the number of child care services continues to grow strongly with 14 290 approved child care services operating around Australia in March 2011 – an increase of almost 500 services in a single year.
“Australian families are continuing to use early childhood education and care in record numbers,” Minister Ellis said.
“And with the Government funding an unlimited number of child care places across the country, we’re seeing the number of child care services growing rapidly to meet the increased demand.”
The report also shows that the proportion of the family budget being spent on child care has decreased significantly across the income spectrum under the Labor Government as a result of increased subsidies.
In 2004, the out-of-pocket costs, for a family with one child in long day care and earning $55,000 a year were 13.2 per cent of their disposable income – in 2011 this proportion had declined to just 7.5 per cent.
“In 2008 the Government increased the Child Care Rebate payment from 30 to 50 per cent, so that Australian families would receive more much needed assistance to meet the costs of child care,” Minister Ellis said.
“This historic increase in the Child Care Rebate continues to make a difference for families, who will receive a record $18.1 billion in direct payments from the Government over the next four years to help them meet the costs of care.
“We know that affordable, accessible and quality child care is a necessity for many Australian families and I am proud that our Government’s investments are paying off for parents.”
2012 also marks the commencement of the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care.
This Framework will see improved staff to child ratios so that children in care get more individual care and attention and also better qualified staff, who are equipped to lead the important activities that help children learn and develop.
More information is available at: www.mychild.gov.au