The Australian Government continues its strong record delivering on its commitment to improving access to flexible child care options.
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis announced today the recipients of a 17 per cent increase in the number of In Home Care and Occasional Care places across Australia.
Minister Ellis said the Government recognised the significant contribution made by In Home providers and remained committed to supporting the sector to deliver quality care.
“We recognise that centre based care isn’t the answer for every family and from today, more Australian families who struggle to access care they need will be supported to have their child cared for in their home,” Ms Ellis said.
“In October 2011, the Government announced we would fund and allocate a 17 per cent increase in the current number of of In Home Care places.
“These are practical measures our Government is putting in place to make access to quality child care more accessible.
“Today the recipients of those additional 790 places are announced.
One recipient of In Home Care, shift worker Linda Kosmer said “In Home Care allows me to work rotating shift work at Melbourne Airport.
“To know that my girls are being looked after in their own home with an educator who is accredited, highly trained and well supported is a huge relief for me.”
In addition, the Government is able to announce the allocation of the first 300 Occasional Care places. Further places will be allocated in the near future.
In Home Care is a flexible form of child care where an approved carer provides care in the child’s home, while Occasional Care is a centre based form of child care.
“These new places will also mean that more Australian families will be entitled to child care fee assistance through Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate when accessing diverse types of caring arrangements.
“As well as boosting the flexible child care options available to parents these places will enable valuable study and workforce participation.
“This is great news for both families and the child care sector, with many families being able to access these new additional places almost immediately – indeed, some are available from today.”
In Home Care is part of an existing, regulated program, with minimum standards in place for carers.
A list of specific services receiving new places is available on the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations website at: http://www.deewr.gov.au/EarlyChildhood/Programs/ChildCareforServices/Operation/Pages/OperatingaChildCareService.aspx from today. This list will be progressively updated as the department approves more services.