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Early Childhood Safety Net

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Early Childhood Safety Net 8 May 2015

The Hon Scott Morrison MP, Minister for Social Services, today announced the Early Childhood

Safety Net as the second tranche of changes to the child care system.

The Early Childhood Safety Net recognises the need to provide targeted assistance for genuinely

disadvantaged or vulnerable families and supplements the mainstream funding arrangements which

will be announced shortly.

The Productivity Commission’s proposed child care recommendations concluded that addressing cost

alone is not enough to substantially increase participation among disadvantaged and vulnerable

children, and additional support is needed to respond to barriers that are not addressed through fee

assistance alone.

The Early Childhood Safety Net will provide targeted assistance to those families and children facing

barriers in accessing affordable child care through:

1. Additional Child Care Subsidy ($156 million) will target additional support to children and

families who are genuinely disadvantaged, to minimise barriers to participation and provide access

to early learning. It will provide support that is more generous than recommended by the

Productivity Commission.

2. Community Child Care Fund ($304 million) will provide grants through a competitive process for

services to reduce barriers to access child care, particularly in disadvantaged, regional or remote

communities and in areas of demonstrated high demand but with low child care availability.

3. Inclusion Support Programme ($409 million) will improve capacity and capability of child care

services to include children with additional needs, particularly children with disability.

The Community Child Care Fund includes $10 million a year to support the integration of child care,

maternal and child health and family support services in a number of disadvantaged Indigenous

communities, as recommended by Andrew Forrest in his review of Indigenous Jobs and Training -

Creating Parity.

These changes will ensure that targeted assistance is provided to those who need it most.

Australian Early Development Census results show children from disadvantaged backgrounds are

more likely to be developmentally vulnerable by the time they start formal schooling and are more

likely to develop learning, behavioural or emotional problems.

The changes will be implemented progressively, commencing with the Inclusion Support Programme

in July 2016 and the Additional Child Care Subsidy and Community Child Care Fund to coincide with

the introduction of the mainstream child care fee assistance, pending the required legislative changes.

For more information read the Minister for Social Services’ Media Release.

Budget fact sheet

• Child Care Safety Net