The Federal Labor Government is providing more than $280 million in child care fee assistance directly into the pockets of Western Australian families each year.
Early Childhood and Child Care Minister Kate Ellis said Labor’s decision to increase the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of child care costs had made a real difference to the budgets of thousands of families across WA.
Ms Ellis released the figures at Goodstart Early Learning Child Care Centre at Huntingdale.
“Our Government’s child care assistance is worth $284 million (2011-12) to families in Western Australia,” Ms Ellis said.
“This has gone up considerably in recent years.
“If the rebate remained at a miserly 30 per cent as it did under the Coalition, WA families would be at least $59 million worse off.”
Ms Ellis said the Labor Government had implemented a number of measures to increase child care affordability for modern families had clearly flowed through her local area.
“We now have more than 6,450 families using child care with more than 9,080 children receiving approved child care services in the Hasluck electorate,” Ms Ellis said.
“Through confidence and investment in the sector, the number of child care services in the electorate has increased to 105.”
Ms Ellis said this year’s Budget delivered another significant boost to child care assistance, investing more than $22 billion over four years for Australian families receiving the Rebate and other forms of assistance.
WA spending on early childhood and child care:
- In 2011-12, $15.3 million to help new services start, assist with operational support for some services, and help with services that are struggling particularly in regional areas.
- In 2011-12 the Australian Government provided $9 million to assist 5,340 children from 3,580 families attending care in Western Australia through the Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care fee assistance.
- In 2011-12 the Australian Government provided $283.6 million to help parents in Western Australia with the cost of child care, through Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate.
- The Australian Government’s decision to lift the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent resulted in an additional $59 million in the hands of Western Australian families during 2011-12.
- $15.9 million is being delivered to the Western Australia Government over 5 years to assist in the delivery of the commitment of all state and territory governments to making available 15 hours of preschool/kindergarten by 2013.
- $42.4 million over 6 years for building and running Children and Family Centres.