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Monday, 30 November 2015
Page: 14053

Child Care

Ms LANDRY (Capricornia) (14:02): My question is to the Acting Prime Minister and the Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development. Will the minister advise the House how regional communities will benefit from the government's Jobs for Families child care assistance package?

Mr TRUSS (Wide BayDeputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure and Regional Development) (14:02): I thank the honourable member for her question. This is very important for the people of Capricornia. There are almost 10,000 children receiving approved child care in her electorate, from over 90 services. It is a very significant service being provided to the people of her electorate. The Jobs for Families childcare package announced by the government includes $40 billion of funding, including $3 billion of new commitments. The increased support will mean that families earning between $65,000 and $170,000 will be an average of $30 per week better off. Families are receiving substantially improved access to child care services and substantially improved benefits. Families that are using budget based funding services, and that will include a number in the honourable member's electorate, will receive subsidies now, where previously that had not been the case. Those located in regional, remote and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, who would typically miss out on receiving childcare assistance, will be eligible for support through this program.

There is $304 million for the Community Child Care Fund, a competitive grants fund to help children in disadvantaged communities and to increase the supply of centre based mobile services, especially in regional communities. There are a number of people who, because of their geographical location, have difficulty in readily accessing any form of child care, so the government is trialling a Nanny Pilot Program, which will help to provide childcare services, including to people in regional and remote communities. It is going to particularly target shift workers and farming and rural and regional families, for whom there have been limited opportunities in the past to have any childcare services.

This is a program about choice. It will deliver substantial opportunities for people to access childcare support, regardless of their location and regardless of their financial situation. We want this program to support families who wish to access childcare services and who want to participate in the workforce, to give them the opportunity to contribute to their communities and to the wellbeing of their families.