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Discussion Paper released on Budget Based Funded early childhood and education and care services



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THE HON KATE ELLIS MP Minister for Employment Participation Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care

MEDIA RELEASE

19 July 2012

Discussion Paper released on Budget Based Funded early childhood and education and care services

The Government is seeking views on childcare and early learning services to ensure the needs of Australia’s most vulnerable families are met, now and in the future.

Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care, Kate Ellis announced the Government consultation today, saying it will focus on funding to support child care and early learning services in urban, regional, remote and Indigenous communities under the Budget Based Funded (BBF) program.

“With more children in early childhood services than ever before, it is critical that our children receive quality care and educational opportunities, regardless of their family background or where they live,” Ms Ellis said.

“At a time of record early childhood investment by the Government, it’s important not to forget about families who can’t access mainstream services and who deserve access to the highest quality services.

“This $57 million program supports more than 300 various services around Australia and plays an important role in ensuring families have access to an early childhood service where the market would otherwise fail to provide one.

“Importantly, the consultation I’ve announced today follows the Government's commitment of $59.4 million to improve the quality of centre-based BBF services, including ongoing funding to raise staff qualifications and support building

maintenance.”

Minister Ellis said that participation in quality early childhood programs for vulnerable children reaps significant positive outcomes for both the child and the wider community.

“Changes in populations and communities over time means that government needs to ensure this critical funding remains well targeted,” Ms Ellis said.

A discussion paper entitled Quality Early Childhood Education and Care for Children in Regional, Remote and Indigenous Communities: A Review of the Budget Based Funding Program will be the focus for these conversations.

“This discussion paper will help us to have a conversation with communities about how best to focus on children and families most in need.”

Including communities across Australia, the discussion paper will look at what is working and what can be improved, and will include meetings for stakeholders and interested parties.

The discussion paper and factsheets, including how to have your say and the consultation schedule, are available at www.deewr.gov.au/bbfreview

Minister Ellis media contact: Nathan Moir 0400 329 213 DEEWR Media: media@deewr.gov.au