ELACCA looks forward to transformational investment in the early learning workforce 

Media release   

14 May 2024 

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) has welcomed today’s Federal Budget, which includes a commitment to build and sustain the early learning and care workforce via a wage subsidy. 

‘We congratulate Treasurer Jim Chalmers, Minister Clare and Minister Aly on this vital investment in a qualified, highly-valued early learning and care workforce’ said ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death. 

‘We look forward to seeing the Government bring together the threads of important policy and industrial processes – including the Productivity Commission inquiry and Multi-Employer Bargaining – over the remainder of 2024.’ 

ELACCA has been advocating for Government co-investment in wages to ensure an accessible, affordable early learning and care sector across Australia. Every Australian child deserves high-quality early education and care, supported by a quality, qualified and appropriately valued workforce. 

‘We know that award wage rates have hampered efforts to attract and retain our workforce for many years. We also know that our workforce is highly feminised, and a lift in wages is a step towards gender equity’.  

‘A career in early learning and care should be a rich and rewarding one, and we want our early childhood educators and teachers to be appropriately remunerated for the important work they do, nurturing and responding to the learning and developmental needs of children,’ said Ms Death. ‘The early learning and care sector really is the backbone for the early years, and our educators and teachers are at the centre.’ 

Continuation of Inclusion Support Program (ISP) funding to 30 June 2025 is a welcome feature of the Budget, providing certainty for the early learning sector while the future shape of inclusion policy is being determined, in conjunction with National Disability Insurance Scheme reforms. 

The Budget also continues the rollout of the Paid Practicum Subsidy and Professional Development Subsidy for early childhood educators. 

‘Through our work supporting educators who are upskilling to a teaching degree at the University of Wollongong, we know just how important practicum placements are,’ said Ms Death. ‘Offering a wage replacement subsidy, on a national basis, would enable many hundreds of experienced diploma-qualified educators to engage in university study, delivering high-quality teachers for our sector.’ 

‘We look forward to working with the Government to implement these very welcome funding commitments, which are an important step forward in building a robust and stable early learning workforce, now and into the future,’ Ms Death said. 


For more information please contact:  

Sally Maddison

Early Learning and Care Council of Australia  

PO Box 348  

Annandale NSW 2038  

Mob: 0499 306 794 

E: [email protected]  


About us:  

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) was established to promote the value of quality early learning and care as an integral part of Australia’s education system. Our 18 CEO members include some of the largest early learning providers in the country, representing both not-for-profit and for-profit services. ELACCA members operate 2,011 long day care services, 370 preschool/kindergarten services and 92 OSHC services, covering every state and territory. They offer one-quarter of all the early learning places in Australia. Together, our members serve 369,776 children and their families, and employ more than 56,000 staff.