Access to quality care for families in need
Early childhood education and care plays an important role in helping children with additional needs
The Government will ensure that all children can access quality early childhood learning through targeted support to genuinely disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
The Child Care Subsidy will support low income families with at least one parent not currently undertaking recognised activity, to access 24 hours of subsidised care per fortnight. This will be available to those earning below the maximum subsidy threshold of around $65,000 in 2017‑18.
In addition to the Child Care Subsidy, the Government will spend $869 million on the Child Care Safety Net to assist vulnerable, disadvantaged and additional needs children.
The Additional Child Care Subsidy will commence on 1 July 2017 and provide top-up fee assistance to:
- children who are at risk of serious abuse or neglect;
- families experiencing temporary financial hardship; and
- families transitioning to work from income support.
From 1 July 2017 the Community Child Care Fund will provide grants to child care services to:
- remove barriers for disadvantaged children, or
- children in regional or remote areas; and
- make child care services more viable; and
- improve affordability for low income families in high cost areas.
The Government will commit $409 million to the new Inclusion Support Programme, which will commence on 1 July 2016. The programme will assist families with children with additional needs to access child care.