Childcare gets millions in Budget

ABOUT $3.5 million will be injected into Canberra childcare, funded by the 2012-13 ACT Budget.

The money will be go towards centre upgrades and additional regulatory support for the sector as it transitions to new national standards.

As part of the budget announcement, Minister for Community Services Joy Burch  released the “ACT Education and Care Workforce Strategy 2012-2014”, a Government initiative to work with the childcare sector in attracting new educators, retaining existing staff, and developing and up-skilling the workforce.

“The ACT Labor Government recognises the demand for additional childcare places in Canberra, which is why this Budget provides more funding to support a number of childcare services to expand through refurbishments and extensions to their premises,” Ms Burch said.

“These funds will also be used to improve a range of community facilities including youth centres, neighbourhood halls and community rooms.”

As part of the funds; $2.5 million will upgrade community childcare centres and community facilities, on top of $9 million already promised from the 2011-12 Budget to upgrade nine childcare centres to provide an additional 170 childcare places; $1.65 million for regulatory support to the sector as it transitions to the National Quality Framework, which provides new industry standards around staff qualifications and child-to-carer ratios; and $350,000 to investigate options for redeveloping or relocating Civic Early Childhood Centre that’s currently facing pressures from surround capital works and is operated by Northside Community Services.

Ms Burch said the Workforce Strategy was the culmination of years of working with the sector to address the workforce challenges the sector is facing nationally.

“The ACT Government has been supporting the childcare sector in Canberra to grow and develop its workforce through a range of initiatives in recent years, and the 2012-13 Budget builds on that investment,” she said.

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