More flexible support for families with Nanny Pilot Program

ALMOST 3,000 Australian families will be provided with more flexible support in their own homes as part of a new two year Nanny Pilot Programme by the Federal Government.

Education and Training Minister Simon Birmingham said families would be contacted throughout this week to begin the process of pairing them with a nanny from the beginning of next year.

Minister Simon Birmingham said the Nanny Pilot Programme provided an additional type of subsidised care, giving families extra choice and flexibility.

"The Nanny Pilot Programme will support families who struggle to access child care services, particularly if they work non-standard hours, or live in regional or remote areas or away from existing child care," Mr Birmingham said.

"Nearly 90 per cent of families that applied for the pilot indicated that at least one parent worked shift-work or irregular hours, including over one thousand police officers, nurses and health professionals."

Minister Birmingham said many of the families highlighted finding suitable child care, or managing their current mix of child care arrangements as being very difficult and the reason for them applying for the pilot.

"Previous governments have ignored the plight of families unable to access child care services," Minister Birmingham said.

"The pilot will support families by providing government fee assistance for them to use a nanny in their family home - ensuring they can receive the right support in the most appropriate location for their situation."

Minister Birmingham said 31% of families that had applied for Nanny Pilot Programme came from regional locations with a further six per cent coming from remote Australia.

"This is the first time families have had Federal Government help with the cost of a nanny, giving more families, more equitable choice no matter their area or hours of work," Mr Birmingham said.

"Generous support has been available for some time to help families accessing standard child care services. This policy finally provides a level of assistance to those who've previously been denied access to support due to the hours they work or where they live.

"The Nanny Pilot will help many families who work shifts or live in regional Australia to return to work, work additional hours or better deal with cost of living pressures associated with expensive out-of-hours child care."

Minister Birmingham said the pilot, which includes a broad cross section of family circumstances and locations, would provide the government with useful data and information to inform future policy to provide the right support and in the most appropriate location for Australian families.

The start date for each nanny will depend on when the family needs care to commence and whether a suitable nanny has been found that meets the family's needs.

For more information on the Nanny Pilot Programme visit: http://www.dss.gov.au/nannypilot



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