Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King today said many Ballarat families were set to lose access to family day care services as a result of $157.1 million in Abbott Government budget cuts from family day care services.
A new eligibility self-assessment tool released by the government this week reveals that more than 80 per cent of family day care service providers and the families that use these services will be impacted by the funding cuts and new eligibility criteria.
“Family day care offers quality flexible child care options for Ballarat families,” Ms King said.
“These services help meet the growing need for flexible small group care and quality early childhood education in our community.
“Notwithstanding a previous commitment from the government that the new eligibility criteria would only apply to new providers – all services now have to reapply for funding under much tighter eligibility criteria, with many services set to miss out on future funding altogether.
“Family day care providers will now be assessing whether their services are viable to continue or if they will be forced into passing on fee increases to local families who can least afford it.
“It has been reported that this could cost families up to $1,700 extra in fees each year for children in full-time family day care.
“To date the Abbott Government’s $1 billion child care cuts include outside school hours care, child care support and family day care.
“These are services that families rely on and only further highlight how out of touch the Abbott Government is with the cost of living pressures that families face every day.”