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THE HON KATE ELLIS MP
Minister for Employment Participation
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care
21 February 2013
MORE SUPPORT FOR CHILDREN WITH A DISABILITY TO ACCESS CHILD CARE
The Australian Government is providing more support for children with a disability to access child care to ensure they receive crucial education and development opportunities in the early years.
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis visited staff at the Lady Gowrie Child Centre in Thebarton to announce the Australian Government is investing an additional $20 million into child care for children with special needs.
"We know the first five years of a child's life are crucial to their development, and we want to support families of children with a disability to have access to the important education and development opportunities that child care brings," Minister Ellis said.
"We are investing a record $23 billion to early childhood care and education to give children the best possible start to life."
Minister Ellis said there has been a 38% increase in the number of children the Australian Government is supporting to access child care through the Inclusion Support Subsidy this year.
"For children with a disability, intervention in the early years and access to quality child care can make huge difference, and I'm really proud to deliver this funding which I know will make a difference to the lives of these families," Minister Ellis said.
"We know that 90 per cent of a child's brain development happens in the first five years - that's why we've introduced new higher standards for child care services to help them develop during a crucial time in their lives.
"We introduced the National Quality Framework because we believe every parent deserves peace of mind when they drop their child off to child care, they are receiving quality care to a high standard.
"We are backing the NQF with a record $23.1 billion investment in early childhood education and care - more than triple that of the former Coalition Government in its last four years in office."
The NQF requires all providers to improve services and provide families with better information. It includes:
" Improved educator to child ratios, so that each child gets the individual care and attention that they need
" Higher educator qualifications to equip staff to provide the kind of activities that help children learn and develop
" More information for parents through a transparent ratings system