Government's rural childcare support should continue

DESPITE concerns about a change to the eligibility of child-care funding, regional and rural family day care centres should continue to get the Abbott government's support.

Capital city family day care centres were earlier this week criticising the government's budget decision, fearing some city centres may have to close.

In its May budget, the government changed the eligibility of the community support program for family day care centres, but ensured it would continue where people were most in need.

The change, critics have argued, would affect more than 70% of city family day care centres when it comes into force in July next year.

But the budget decision, which Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley has previously said was made to address a $200 million-odd hole left by the previous government, should not affect rural areas.

The changes to guidelines have expressly allowed for centres in "rural, regional and remote locations" to remain eligible, as well as services "operating in the most disadvantaged communities".

However, the changes will also include a funding limit of $250,000 for operational support each year, and the funding will only be applicable to those centres with at least 51% of operations in remote, rural and regional areas.


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