Abbott and Napthine Governments invest in Occasional Care following Labor cuts

Joint Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Education
  • Victorian Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development

Victorian families will have greater access to casual and emergency child care places, with the Abbott and Napthine Governments today announcing an $8.55 million investment in Occasional Care.

Federal Minister responsible for Child Care Sussan Ley and Victorian Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell today announced the signing of a four-year $8.55 million joint funding partnership to help grow Victoria’s Occasional Care sector, particularly in regional areas.

Occasional Care is a flexible form of child care that offers casual places – often at short notice – where parents generally only pay for the hours their children attend, rather than mandatory full-day blocks.

In 2010, the previous Federal Labor Government cut $12.6 million in Commonwealth support for informal occasional places across the country, refusing to reverse their decision despite significant backlash from local communities across Victoria.                                                            

“The Abbott Government is committed to making child care more affordable, flexible and accessible for Victorian families and has invested $4.7 million into the four-year deal,” Ms Ley said.

“Occasional Care plays an important part in achieving this by providing casual and emergency places that provide a stopgap for families when they cannot access a formal child care place at short notice or in an emergency.

“This is particularly true in rural Victoria, where the prevalence of farming communities and seasonal work makes it difficult to commit to a regular child care place.”

Ms Ley said the new partnership would therefore give preference to regional, rural and remote communities that did not have access to Occasional Care services.

“We promised to reverse Labor’s cuts to Occasional Care if elected and I’d like to thank the Napthine Government for working with us to restore this vital funding for Victorian families,” Ms Ley said.

Victorian Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell said it was another example of the importance of having strong State and Federal Governments that were committed to working together to deliver the best outcomes for Victorian families.

“Whether you’re living on a farm hours out of town or only passing through picking fruit or fixing fences a few months a year, it can be difficult to commit to a long-term regular child care place,” Ms Lovell said.

“Occasional Care helps meet that challenge, which is why we have committed to working with the Abbott Government to invest in this initiative for Victorian families.

“This is also another example of why Labor Governments at both State and Federal levels cannot be trusted to make decisions in the best interests of Victorian families and their children.”

As per the previous national agreement, the restored funding agreement is a joint-partnership between the Commonwealth and the states, with Victoria contributing $3.85 million of the total partnership cost.

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