Affordable early learning must sit at the heart of the next Budget

Media release

7 October 2020

Affordable early learning must sit at the heart of the next Budget

With no new measures announced in last night’s Budget, Australia’s early learning and care sector and its allies will keep advocating for increased investment to support young children’s learning and women’s workforce participation.

‘We applaud the Government’s commitment to ensuring that early learning and care services could survive the COVID-19 pandemic,’ said Elizabeth Death, CEO of the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA). ‘The Government’s financial support for sector viability was absolutely critical and valued.’

‘However, we now need to turn our attention to the important role of early learning and care in the recovery and rebuilding, for the whole country,’ Ms Death said.

‘Greater investment in early learning is one of the best ways to boost Australia’s social capital and household earnings with the double-dividend of lifelong education, health and wellbeing benefits for children.’

The benefits of raising the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) rate have been highlighted in recent research by KPMG and the Grattan Institute, which both found that greater financial support for families through the CCS would generate substantial benefits across the economy.

According to KPMG, if the CCS rate was lifted to 95 per cent for low-income families (and 30 per cent for high-income families), the boost to GDP would exceed the additional federal spending by more than 110 percent, thanks to a lift in parental workforce participation.

‘We had hoped that the 2020-21 Budget would seize this opportunity to support children and families through more significant reform of the Child Care Subsidy,’ said Ms Death.

‘ELACCA stands ready to work with the Government to ensure that early learning is at the heart of the 2021-22 Budget.’