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Child care funding for disabled, rural

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The Abbott government will spend $850 million on child care services to help disadvantaged children, Social Services Minister Scott Morrison has announced.

The new early childhood safety net will include extra subsidies for families and communities to set up childcare facilities and a program to attract staff to work at them, the Minister said on Thursday afternoon.

But the money, destined in the main for children with disabilities and those in rural areas, would rely mainly on savings proposed in the previous budget to the family tax benefit, he told the ABC.

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“That is tied to Family Tax Benefit savings that were put forward in last year’s budget,” Mr Morrison said.

Mr Morrison said some of the money was coming from already budgeted measures.

The three components to the funding are:

• $300 million for childcare in disadvantaged communities or regional areas;
• $400 million program to recruit and train new staff, and buy equipment; and
• $156 million extra subsidy for children deemed at risk or from disadvantaged families.

The measures are due to begin in 2016 and after the next election in 2017.

—with ABC and AAP.

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