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Additional childcare support for West Australian families

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The Federal Minister for Early Childhood, Childcare and Youth Kate Ellis has announced that over $280 million is being provided by the federal government to help families in Western Australia pay for childcare.

Ellis said that Child Care Rebate for families in WA had been increased from 30 to 50 per cent of childcare costs to help improve the budgets of thousands of families.

“Our Government’s childcare assistance is worth $284m to families in Western Australia in 2011-12,” she said at the Goodstart Early Learning centre in Huntingdale.

The minister pointed out that allowing the rebate remain at 30 per cent would have made WA families worse off by around $59m.

She said that childcare affordability has improved considerably since the Labor government established policies to increase access to families.

“We now have more than 6,450 families using child care with more than 9,080 children receiving approved child care services in the Hasluck electorate,” Ellis said.

She also noted that more than $22 billion for rebate and other assistance will be allocated over the next four years to further boost childcare assistance for families.

Ellis outlined the government’s support for WA on early childhood education and care over the last two years and said that $15.3m had been provided in 2011-12 to assist new and existing services as well as extend help to services in regional locations.

In the same year, the Australian government also provided $9m to support 5,340 children from 3,580 families in the state so that they can receive assistance through the Jobs, Education and Training (JET) Child Care fee program.

Other support extended by the government for Western Australian families includes delivering the state government $15.9m over five years to make 15 hours of preschool or kindergarten available to children by 2018 and providing $42.4m over six years to construct and run children’s and family centres.

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