The North West’s struggling childcare services will be boosted as part of a near $20 million investment by the Federal Government to establish 20 new centres in regional Australia.
As part of the Federal Budget the Government announced it would invest in regional and remote child care to increase access for families.
The Government announced it would provide $19.4m to establish up to 20 childcare services in areas where there is an absence or limited supply.
It comes as a landmark report released by the Victoria University’s Mitchell Institute on March 22 labelled the Pilbara a “child care desert”.
The document found the East Pilbara was one of the worst hotspots in the nation with six children vying for each place while the West Pilbara had four children per place.
According to the report, Tom Price had the second greatest shortage in the nation with nine children vying for every child care place.
Durack MHR Melissa Price said the Budget had increased funding for preschools in Durack to make child care more affordable and accessible.
“Ongoing childcare funding in this Budget will directly benefit over 3850 families living in Durack,” she said.
“There is also many ongoing actions the Morrison Government is taking to tackle the issue of childcare availability including the Federal Government’s Community Child Care Fund, which is providing more than $7 million to childcare services to regional, remote and disadvantaged communities in Durack to help keep them operating and increase the number of children they can care for.”
Ms Price said the newly signed Pilbara Designated Area Migration Agreement would also play a significant part in solving the childcare worker shortage in the Pilbara.
“The Pilbara DAMA covers 66 occupations which includes aged and child care and health services so as global travel and movement begins to happen again post the COVID-19 challenges, this new visa will enable more opportunities for workers to come to the Pilbara,” she said.