The Gillard Government will invest an extra $225.1 million over four years in child care assistance to help more parents receive the training and skills they need to enter or return to the workforce.
Jobs, Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance (JETCCFA) provides assistance with child care fees for parents on income support - mostly single parents - while they are studying or training to get the skills they need to find a job.
This increased investment is part of the Gillard Government’s commitment to supporting jobs, and will see more than 130,000 parents across the country receive assistance to join the workforce and provide for their young families.
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Bill Shorten said additional funding for JETCCFA is an investment in better opportunities for Australian families and the nation’s economy.“Work brings much more than a pay-packet to a family. It sets a good example for children and gives the whole family the ability to be an active part of the community,” Mr Shorten said.
“For many Australians, there are more hurdles than there otherwise would be when it comes to finding a job, things like intergenerational welfare dependency or having extra responsibilities as a sole parent.”
“They often need a bit of extra help into work so they can get out of the welfare queue.”
“We are investing heavily in this program to help more parents, especially sole parents, to access skills and training that will lead to jobs.”
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis said that this additional support will mean more parents can get the skills and training they need to enter the workforce.
“Our Government is committed to making sure that all Australians can access the financial and social benefits that come with having a job.”
“Access to affordable and accessible child care is critical for working families as well as families who want to be working but are struggling to find a job,” Ms Ellis said.
“In 2008 the Gillard Government delivered on an election commitment to double eligibility for this important program so that parents who are studying or training are now eligible for this extra support for up to two years.”
“As a result this program is now supporting record numbers of Australian parents, particularly single mums to enter the workforce – some for the very first time in their lives.”
The JETCCFA measure builds on work the Australian Government is doing to make quality child care affordable and accessible.
The Child Care Rebate has been increased from 30 per cent to 50 per cent of out-of-pocket expenses up to $7500 per child per year, so that more parents have the opportunity to return to work.
The Government has also made the payment available fortnightly, in addition to the annual or quarterly payment options, so that parents can receive child care assistance when it suits their individual circumstances.
In addition to receiving increased funding, the JETCCFA program will also be better targeted to help those parents who need it most and the rules for eligible courses changed to make sure that JETCCFA better supports training and study that most improves job prospects.
For further details visit www.deewr.gov.au
Mr Shorten’s Media Contacts: Sam Casey 0421 697 660
Ms Ellis’s Media Contacts: 02 6277 7630