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$120,000 for St Arnaud Child Care Centre.

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John Forrest MP The Nationals Member for Mallee

Phone (03) 5032 4510 Fax (03) 5032 9407

Friday, 19 March 2004

$120,000 for St Arnaud Child Care Centre

Federal Member for Mallee, John Forrest, today announced Australian Government funding of $120,000 for the construction of a new child care centre and the upgrade of existing community facilities in St Arnaud.

Mr Forrest said the funding, approved by Federal Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Larry Anthony, will be a real help to the for families of the 25 - 35 children using child care in the area.

“The Northern Grampians Shire Council should be congratulated for hard work and tenacity they have shown in working toward obtaining this grant. It will be a real boost for child care in the area providing long day care for children,” Mr Forrest said.

“Improving access to children’s services in rural and remote regions is a priority of the Coalition Government. Rural families often have to travel long distances to access the child care facilities that people in larger towns and cities take for granted. This new service will provide the families of St Arnaud and surrounding communities with affordable, quality child care.

“Families using this child care will also have access to the Australian Government’s Child Care Benefit payment that is delivering an average payment of $2,000 per year to help families with the child care costs.

“The long day care service will be part of an integrated multi-functional children’s service supported by Commonwealth, State and Local Governments. This service provides a range of children’s services including Family Day Care, Maternal and Child Health, preschool and specialist services such as dental health and speech therapy - all from the one premises.

"This funding demonstrates the Australian Government's commitment to helping Australian families,” Mr Forrest said.

Media Contact Sally Turvey (03) 5032 4510 -ends-