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Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017

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2016-2017

 

The Parliament of the

Commonwealth of Australia

 

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 

 

 

Social Services Legislation Amendment (Omnibus Savings and Child Care Reform) Bill 2017

 

 

( 1 )     Schedule  4 , page 233 (after line 10) , after item  235 , insert:

235A  After section 232

Insert:

232A   Community Child Care Fund—guidelines for funding

             (1)  The Secretary must, no later than 1 July 2017, publish on the Department’s website guidelines outlining the criteria that will be used in determining how funding will be allocated from the Community Child Care Fund.

             (2)  The Minister must table before each House of the Parliament, on the next sitting day of the House after the guidelines are published under subsection (1), a copy of the guidelines.

232B  Community Child Care Fund—assessment of likely impact on rural and regional areas

             (1)  The Secretary must, no later than 1 July 2017:

                     (a)  conduct an assessment of the impact that the replacement of the Budget Based Funded Program with the Community Child Care Fund will have on communities in rural and regional Australia (the rural and regional impact assessment ); and

                     (b)  publish a report of the rural and regional impact assessment on the Department’s website.

             (2)  The rural and regional impact assessment must include, for each rural or regional area of each State and Territory of Australia:

                     (a)  a statement of the number of child care places that will be available in the area under the Budget Based Funded Program on 1 July 2017, as compared with the number of child care places that will be available under the Community Child Care Fund on 1 July 2018; and

                     (b)  an estimate of the number of child care services in the area that will cease to operate during the financial year beginning on 1 July 2017 (if any); and

                     (c)  an estimate of the number of child care services that will begin to operate in the area during the financial year beginning on 1 July 2017 (if any); and

                     (d)  an assessment of any other impacts that the replacement of the Budget Based Funded Program with the Community Child Care Fund will have on communities in the area.

             (3)  The Minister must, by legislative instrument, determine the way in which rural and regional areas in the States and Territories are to be identified for the purposes of carrying out the rural and regional impact assessment.

             (4)  In conducting the rural and regional impact assessment, the Secretary must consult with community groups representing communities in each rural or regional area of each State or Territory of Australia in relation to which the assessment is conducted.

             (5)  The Minister must table before each House of the Parliament, on the next sitting day of the House after a report of the rural and regional impact assessment is published under paragraph (1)(b), a copy of the report.

232C  2017 child care reforms—continuing assessment of impact

             (1)  The Secretary must assess the impact of the 2017 child care reforms on communities in rural and regional Australia on an ongoing basis, and publish those assessments, in accordance with this section.

             (2)  The assessments must relate to each financial year beginning on and after 1 July 2018.

             (3)  The assessments must include, for each rural or regional area of each State and Territory of Australia:

                     (a)  a statement of the number of child care places that were available in the area during the relevant financial year; and

                     (b)  an assessment of whether any more child care places were needed in the area during the relevant financial year and, if so, how many and where; and

                     (c)  an estimate of the number of child care services in the area that ceased to operate during the relevant financial year (if any); and

                     (d)  an estimate of the number of child care services that began operating in the area during the relevant financial year (if any); and

                     (e)  an assessment of any other impacts that the 2017 child care reforms have had on communities in the area during the relevant financial year.

             (4)  The Minister must, by legislative instrument, determine the way in which rural and regional areas in the States and Territories are to be identified for the purposes of carrying out the assessment.

             (5)  In conducting the assessment, the Secretary must consult with community groups representing communities in each rural or regional area of each State or Territory of Australia in relation to which the assessment is conducted.

             (6)  The assessment for a financial year must be published on the Department’s website within 2 months after the end of the year.

             (7)  The Minister must table a copy of the assessment for a financial year before each House of the Parliament, on the next sitting day of the House after the assessment is published on the Department’s website.

             (8)  In this section:

2017 child care reforms means:

                     (a)  the child care subsidy; and

                     (b)  the additional child care subsidy; and

                     (c)  the Community Child Care Fund; and

                     (d)  the Inclusion Support Programme.

[greater transparency in 2017 child care reforms]