A Budget for Australia’s youngest learners and their families

Media release

11 May 2021

Tonight’s Budget delivers for children, families and Australia’s early learning and care sector, increasing investment to support young children’s learning and women’s workforce participation.

‘We applaud the Government’s commitment to ensuring every Australian child will gain ongoing access to an affordable preschool program, regardless of the delivery setting,’ said Elizabeth Death, CEO of the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA).

‘This means that, from 2023, parents and carers can choose a preschool program that meets their child’s needs and that suits their family’s circumstances. For many families, this will give them access to affordable preschool programs delivered in long day care services for the first time.’

‘We also welcome the Government’s financial support to remove some of the major disincentives for low- and middle-income families to increase the second income earner’s participation in the workforce.’

‘We now need to turn our attention to the development of a robust, highly qualified early childhood workforce,’ Ms Death said.

ELACCA launched a national campaign earlier this year – Big Roles in Little Lives – to attract more Australians to a career in early learning.

‘ELACCA continues to champion the early learning workforce and will continue to work with the Government to ensure that the new National Workforce Strategy for early learning and care is well-resourced and successful.’

ELACCA also hopes to see spending commitments later in the year to support the successful pursuit of the new Closing the Gap targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.