MYEFO a welcome step forward for children with additional needs and for the early learning and care workforce

Media release

16 December 2021

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) welcomes today’s decision by the Australian Government to invest more in the early learning and care sector, enabling providers to increase their support for children with additional needs and offer better conditions of service to their educators.

‘We are very pleased with the new measures announced today,’ said CEO Elizabeth Death. ‘They acknowledge the fundamental importance of early learning and care services in supporting all children, and the profound need to recognise and reward educators for their work.’

The Government’s increased investment, announced as part of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, is a much-needed step in addressing underfunding of the Inclusion Support Program (ISP). The ISP is critical to boost the capacity of early learning and care services to fully include children with additional needs.

‘Young children with additional needs deserve greater focus and funding from governments around Australia, to support their inclusion in mainstream early learning,’ Ms Death said. ‘Today’s announcement sets us on the right path.’

Today’s announcement also allows early childhood educators who are parents to receive greater benefit from fee discounts offered by their employers, as part of their employment conditions. Until now, Child Care Subsidy rules have curtailed the fee discounts offered by employers to educators who have their own children enrolled in early learning and care services.

‘We are delighted that employers in the early learning and care sector will now be able to offer more financial support to their educators and support staff, via larger fee reductions,’ said Ms Death. ‘Building and sustaining the educator workforce is something that our members take very seriously, and we welcome initiatives that support their efforts and provide direct financial benefit to employees.’