Media Release: Increasing access to early childhood education and care in regional and rural Australia

12 February 2024


Minister for Early Childhood Education

Member for Youth


The Albanese Government is boosting the availability of early childhood education and care services for children in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities.

Minister for Early Childhood Education Dr Anne Aly today announced $84 million of funding to support early childhood education and care services operating in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities, particularly in regional and rural Australia. 

“We’re delivering a quality and affordable early childhood education sector that works for Australian children no matter where they live or their circumstances,” Minister Aly said.

“This funding will help more children from disadvantaged and vulnerable communities access the transformative benefits of quality early childhood education and care.

“Early learning is a vital contributor to community wellbeing especially in region, rural and remote areas, supporting parents, carers, and families.

“We know that children who access quality early learning do better on key measures throughout life – from improved health and education outcomes to going on to higher paying jobs in adulthood.”

The funding is being made available through the Community Child Care Fund (CCCF), with providers able to apply for grants of up to $400,000 in Sustainability Support, and $300,000 in Capital Support.

The CCCF program supports early childhood education and care services to open, and stay open, in disadvantaged and vulnerable communities in regional and rural areas along with First Nations communities.

The more than $600 million CCCF program supports around 900 services across Australia, with around 60 per cent of funding supporting services in regional and remote communities.

Applications for the grant round are open until 8 March 2024. For more information and to apply visit