Some of the demand for childcare across the region will be eased with the announcement of new federal funding on Thursday.
Outside of school care programs will also receive funding as part of the $1.18million Community Child Care Fund (CCCF).
The fund aims to improve childcare access and increase workforce participation in remote, regional and disadvantaged communities.
South-west recipients include:
- Corangamite Shire Council Family Day Care Service ($240,000)
- Warrnambool Uniting Church Occasional Care Centre ($162,000)
- Koroit's St Patrick's Primary School Outside School Hours Care ($75,000)
- Colac Otway Family Day Care ($48,000)
- Hawkesdale and District Family Services Centre ($47,794)
- Chatsworth Child Care ($43,343)
- Karreeta Peeneeyt Mara Portland Child And Family Complex ($60,000)
- Casterton's Kathleen Millikan Centre ($150,000)
- Portland YMCA Outside School Hours Care ($120,000)
- Ararat 800 Outside School Hours Care and Vacation Care ($240,000)
The announcement comes after The Standard reported this month there is a huge demand across the region for childcare with centre waiting lists of up to 120 people waiting for spots.
The current wait time for many south-west centres is between six to 12 months. Some parents have been unable to return to work due to the lack of available care in the region.
Works on a new centre in Warrnambool is expected to ease some of the demand. It is expected to open mid 2022.
Wannon MP Dan Tehan welcomed Thursday's funding announcement.
"Access to high quality child care is vital to our society and the Morrison Government is investing in programs to improve capacity and services at facilities, allowing more families to be supported," Mr Tehan said.
He said he was delighted to announce that local facilities were among those to benefit from this funding."
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Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said more than 640 child care services around Australia would share in more than $100 million through the program. "We are committed to giving every Australian family access to quality child care, regardless of where they live or their circumstances," Mr Tudge said.
"In some remote areas, there may only be one or two child care services operating and it is critical we keep these open and help improve and expand facilities so more kids can attend," he said.
"This program also helps services to run initiatives that reduce barriers which may otherwise prevent local kids from accessing care."
Minister for Regional Education Bridget McKenzie said the CCCF would help ensure child care continued to be available for many families in the Wannon electorate.
"These grants will have tangible benefits for child care providers that will flow to local children and their families," Ms McKenzie said.
"It means more families in Wannon can take advantage of our Child Care Subsidy if they choose to work, learn or volunteer."
Since 2018, including this latest funding program, the government has allocated more than $220 million to more than 1000 child care services through the Community Child Care Fund.
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