Families across Melbourne’s South East will benefit from the Abbott Government’s new Child Care Safety Net which will provide more support for disadvantaged or vulnerable children to access early childhood learning and child care, Senator for Victoria the Hon Mitch Fifield said today.
Senator Fifield said the 2015 Budget is part of the Commonwealth Government’s plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians.
“As a part of the Abbott Government’s Jobs for Families Child Care package, the Government is investing an additional $327.7 million from 2015-16 to provide targeted support to disadvantaged or vulnerable children, whether they be children with disabilities, children at risk of abuse, children from families on incomes under $65,000 or families facing financial risk,” Senator Fifield said.
“The additional investment mean the Government will spend $869 million to support those children and families who need it most.
“Importantly, getting children into early childhood learning improves a family’s ability to break a cycle of poverty and intergenerational welfare dependence. This is one of the most effective early intervention strategies available.
“Existing programmes that support disadvantaged and vulnerable families are complex, inefficient, poorly targeted and open to abuse and will be replaced by an Inclusion Support Programme, Community Child Care Fund and Additional Child Care Subsidy.
“The new $409 million Inclusion Support Programme, beginning in July 2016, will provide more funding for services to get the necessary skilled staff and equipment to support children with additional needs.
“Assistance under the Additional Child Care Subsidy, worth $156 million will minimise barriers to early development and workforce participation. It will offer a top up subsidy for child care to assist children at risk of serious abuse or neglect irrespective of family income or activity tests; short term financial support for families in temporary financial hardship, and a higher capped subsidy for families transitioning from income support to work and undertaking study or training.
“The $304 million Community Child Care Fund (CCCF) will support services to reduce current barriers to accessing child care, such as support for disadvantage communities and low income families in high child care cost areas.
“$20 million of the CCCF will be targeted to the integration of child care, maternal and child health, and family support services in a number of disadvantaged Indigenous communities, as recommended in the Forrest Review.
“More than $200 million in additional funding will also now be delivered in the mainstream Child Care Subsidy to expand support to families.
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the Abbott Government’s commitment to ensuring all Australian families like those across Melbourne’s South East regardless of circumstance, can access high quality and affordable child care,” Senator Fifield said.
Media Contact: Tamsin Lawrence – 0408586151