ELACCA welcomes early years investment in the 2023-24 Federal Budget

Media Release

9 May 2023

The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) welcomes funding for our sector provided in the Australian Government’s 2023-24 Federal Budget release this evening.

Notably for the early learning and care sector, the Budget provides a suite of pre-announced measures including:

  • $72.4 million over five years to support the skills and training of workers in the early childhood education and care sector.
  • $4.6b funding to increase the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) coming into effect in July 2023, including transparency reform and streamlining of Additional Child Care Subsidy.
  • Removing gender bias through the Fair Work Commission.

The funding provides support to attract and retain early childhood educators to our workforce and uplift capacity and qualifications, including:

  • backfill support for up to 75,000 early childhood staff (educators, teachers and centre directors) while they upskill, and undertake important professional development opportunities.
  • support for 6000 existing early childhood educators to complete teaching placements required by degree teacher education courses.
  • 2,000 early childhood educators capacity to undertake a practicum exchange at a different service, with a living allowance for students undertaking a practicum in a rural or remote location.

The funding, to be provided in the Budget, enables much-needed support for early childhood educators to progress their careers, and continues to build a sustainable and quality early learning and care workforce across Australia.  “Workforce shortages are placing increasing pressure on all parts of the early learning and care sector”, ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death said.

“Thousands of qualified early learning educators and teachers are needed to meet existing vacancies across the country. Unless we address these staffing shortfalls, more children will continue to be unable to access early learning at their most critical period of development. This of course, directly impacts the workforce participation of many parents and carers, particularly women.” 

“ELACCA is very supportive of the Australian Government’s investment in early learning and care. The $72.4m skills and training package responds directly to our evidence about the key challenges that prevent early childhood educators from undertaking further professional development and will uplift and build capacity in the sector, at a time when it is most needed.” 

“Quality early education and care can only be provided by a quality, qualified and valued workforce. This announcement will continue to support professional recognition and uplift of our sector.” Ms Death said. “While we applaud investment provided by the Budget, we must not lose sight of the most urgent element of workforce attraction and retention, and that is the partnership and investment between government and the sector to support a much-needed uplift of wages for the early learning and care workforce.”

As previously announced, $11.3b has been provided to increase wages in the aged care sector. The early learning and care sector looks forward to working with Government to ensure early childhood educators and teachers receive the necessary lift in wages.

In collaboration with the Australian Government, ELACCA will continue to support the early learning and care sector to achieve the best possible outcomes for our youngest Australians and their families.


For more information please contact:

Sally Maddison

Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA)

PO Box 348

Annandale NSW 2038

Mob: 0498 228 762

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 19 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 1,984 long day care services, 310 preschool/kindergarten services and 92 OSHC services, covering every state and territory. They offer one-quarter of all the long day care places in Australia. Together, our members serve 369,776 children and their families, and employ more than 56,708 staff.

As well as promoting the value of quality early learning and the need for greater public investment, ELACCA advocates for the right of all children to access quality early learning and care, particularly children facing disadvantage. We do this by drawing on the knowledge and practical experience of our members and representing their views to decision makers in government, the media and the public.