Labor’s early learning and care policy a welcome contribution to an essential debate

Media release

 9 October 2020

Labor’s early learning and care policy a welcome contribution to an essential debate

The Federal Opposition’s proposal to raise the rate of the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) is a very welcome contribution to the political debate on how to make early learning and care more affordable and effective.

‘The Opposition Leader’s Budget-in-reply speech highlighted the foundational role of early learning in building strong educational outcomes for young Australians,’ said Elizabeth Death, CEO of the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA).

‘Ensuring that all children have access to quality, affordable early learning is a key challenge for all political parties as we approach the next Budget and the next Federal election.’

Labor’s proposal to raise the CCS rate to 90 per cent for low-income families, and to 35 per cent for higher-income families, is broadly in line with ELACCA’s position, and provides a good basis for a comprehensive early learning and care policy.

‘We particularly welcome Labor’s proposal to scrap the annual CCS cap, which artificially limits workforce participation by some parents, particularly women,’ Ms Death said.

ELACCA has worked closely with the Government this year to safeguard the early learning and care sector and to keep young children engaged in early learning during the COVID-19 pandemic. Beyond the pandemic, ELACCA is advocating for measures to improve affordability, build the educator workforce and boost outcomes for vulnerable children.

‘We look forward to continuing our discussions with the Government, the Opposition and other parties to ensure that early learning and care policy gets the attention it deserves in 2021,’ said Ms Death.