Wayne Swan MP

Federal Member for Lilley


Child care centres on Brisbane's northside will be eligible for funding to offset the costs associated with employing higher qualified staff while maintaining affordability for local parents.

Federal Member for Lilley Wayne Swan said the grants were part of the $300 million Early Years Quality Fund, announced by the Federal Labor Government to help support the National Quality Framework.

"This Labor Government is committed to having a qualified and professional early childhood workforce to increase the quality of early childhood education," Mr Swan said.

"The National Quality Framework is an important element of our reforms to the early childhood sector and requires early childhood services to employ staff with higher education qualifications by 2014.

"This is great news for the almost 13,000 children in Lilley who are benefiting from the Government's early childhood reforms which are improving the quality of child care."

It is anticipated that around 30 per cent of long day care centres will use the Fund to boost wages for their staff.

To qualify for grants, childcare providers must show a commitment to quality outcomes for children, demonstrate how they will meet requirements and ensure ongoing affordability for families.

"The Gillard Government understands the pressures modern families face to make ends meet which is why we are investing in the Fund which includes an extra $3 an hour for eligible employees from 1 July," Mr Swan said.

"This wage increase will help raise the professional status of early childhood educations without childcare fees having to go up."

As part of the announcement, a new Pay Equity Unit will also be established in the Fair Work Commission, with an initial focus on the early childhood education and care sector.

An advisory board will also be established to oversee the development and implementation of the Early Years Quality Fund and will include employee and employer representatives.

Mr Swan said this investment builds on the Government's increase to the Child Care Rebate from 30 to 50 per cent of child care costs which has resulted in an extra money in the hands of Lilley families.

"The Early Years Quality Fund is just another example of the Gillard Government's significant investment in early childhood," he said.

"Over the next four years, we are investing a record $23.2 billion in early childhood and care - more than triple the Howard Government in their last four years in office."

For more information on the EYQF visit www.deewr.gov.au/earlyyearsqualityfund.


20 March 2013