ELACCA applauds increased investment in early learning

Media release

2 May 2021

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) applauds the Australian Government’s announcement today of a further $1.7 billion investment in early learning and care, to give parents – and especially mothers – more opportunity to build their careers and their family income.

From 1 July 2022, the Government will increase the maximum Child Care Subsidy rate from 85% to 95% for families with more than one child in long day early learning and care services, and will also remove the annual fee cap. Once triggered, the annual cap requires affected families to pay 100 per cent of fees for the remainder of the financial year.

‘We welcome the Australian Government’s decision to remove some of the disincentives for families’ participation in the workforce,’ said ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death. ‘Supporting parents to balance work and family responsibilities is one of the great services provided by Australia’s early learning and care sector.’

‘Importantly, our early learning and care services also support the learning, development and wellbeing of children. So, the Government’s investment in early learning and care always has multiple dividends and a mix of positive immediate and long-term effects. Affordable, high-quality early learning is good for children, parents and carers, and employers – now and into the future.’

In its pre-Budget submission, ELACCA called on the Australian Government to scrap the fee cap, and to increase the Child Care Subsidy rate by 10% at each income threshold, bringing the maximum subsidy rate to 95% for low-income families and the minimum rate to 30%.

‘We continue to encourage the Australian Government to invest in evidence-based, ongoing improvements to the Child Care Subsidy system, with the goal of every Australian child having access to high-quality early learning in the years before formal schooling, and every parent having the choice to work,’ Ms Death said.