Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Grayndler, Anthony Albanese, and Early Childhood and Child Care Minister Kate Ellis today welcomed 50 new child care places for Sydney’s inner west.
The additional places have been provided courtesy of $3 million in capital works funding from the Australian Government towards the building of a new early learning and care centre and expansion of existing services at Ashfield.
Mr Albanese said the expansion of Ashfield Early Learning and Care Centre means it will be able to accommodate a total 283 children.
“There is a shortage of child care places in the Inner West so it is great to see more places for local families," Mr Albanese said.
“This is great news for local families and expands the availability of quality early childhood education options in the area, especially for those children with special needs.
“Of course, not only has the Government funded this new facility, it funds record child care fee assistance for families.
“We will invest more than $22 billion over the next four years on child care fee assistance, including Child Care Rebate and the Child Care Benefit.
“The 50 extra places at this centre, means potentially 50 more parents being able to return to the workforce with the confidence their children are being cared for by a high quality facility.
“That’s what Labor Governments do – invest in child care and early childhood education in record levels – because it gives our youngest children a great start in life and it increases workforce participation, particularly by supporting women to return to work.”
Ms Ellis said the Government’s Early Learning and Care Centres were designed to provide children with the best opportunities to learn, targeted at areas with the highest demand and tailored to meet the individual needs of those communities.
“The Ashfield Early Learning and Care Centre is owned and operated by The Infants Home - one of Australia’s leading providers of early childhood education, care and health services for children,” Ms Ellis said.
“I believe that working families, no matter where they live, have every reason to expect and demand a child care place.
“That’s why our Labor Government has established the Child Care Accessibility Fund to help local governments deliver more child care places for communities with the longest waiting lists.
“We’re providing funding to expand centres, cut planning and development red tape, free up vacant land for child care centres, or incorporate child care into schools and TAFEs.
"I encourage all local governments with child care shortages in their communities to apply by 2 August 2013."
For further information on Early Learning and Care Centres see: http://deewr.gov.au/early-learning-and-care-centres