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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3263

Mr Barry Jones (LALOR, VICTORIA) asked the Minister representing the Minister for Social Security, upon notice, on 22 May 1980:

(   1 ) Has the Minister's attention been drawn to reports that a number of Victorian neighbourhood children centres are (a) running at a deficit and (b) actually facing closure within a few weeks due to shortage of funds.

(2)   Is it a fact that (a) under the centre based funding formula, centres are receiving only the same amount of support that they received in 1976 when the formula was introduced.

(3)   Is the formula under review; if so, when will he be in a position to announce any upgrading of the formula.

(4)   Has he received requests to receive a deputation from the Neighbourhood Children Centres Association of Victoria representing centres who are badly affected by funding shortages; if so, will he accede to requests to meet a deputation.

(5)   If he will receive a deputation, when will he receive it.

Mr Hunt -The Minister for Social Security has provided the following answer to the honourable member's question:

(   1) to (5) I am aware of the reports relating to the financial problems of some small neighbourhood child care centres in Victoria. In respect of one centre I have approved a one-off emergency grant and, pending a more detailed review of the funding arrangements which apply under the Children's Services Program, have also agreed to a modification of the formula under which these neighbourhood centres are funded. As a result, an increased rate of subsidy will now be payable when centres are operating at full capacity for extended hours. A request was received from the Neighbourhood Children Centres Association of Victoria to receive a deputation but in view of the action which has been taken there would no longer appear to be a need for this and the organisation has been notified accordingly.

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