Our latest report - 'Choiceless' - sheds light on the limited access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) in regional, rural, and remote Australia and the profound consequences of this issue: children miss out on essential benefits, workforce shortages persist and towns suffer economically.
In 'Choiceless', we present over 160 stories and case studies that vividly illustrate the challenges faced by Australian families. This poignant collection paints a diverse picture of how inaccessible ECEC impacts families and communities, underscoring the urgent need for change.
We urge decision-makers to address the report's findings, emphasising that market solutions and current funding models fall short. The report calls for innovative strategies that go beyond a 'one size fits all' approach, advocating for equitable access to early childhood education and care.
'Choiceless' is a call to all levels of government to champion equitable access to early childhood education and care. It's a symbol of hope for countless families who've been left without a choice, and a commitment to a brighter future for all Australian children.
"My son has been on the daycare waitlist since February 2022... While I'm very fortunate to have a [flexible] workplace and some family support in town, I'm still only able to work a small number of hours. We have friends who have left town." - Meredith Brown, Broome
"I work Wednesday to Saturday with unpredictable hours and am closed Sunday to Tuesday to be with my girls and to give my "Nanny" (my mother-in-law) a break... While she is actually retired it's like she has a full time job looking after my children so I can run my business. The guilt definitely kicks in." - Ally Smith, Barraba
"When the kids are on the farm you can question whether you're exposing them to things you shouldn't necessarily expose them to. Should they be on a sprayer? Maybe not. But you've got to do what you've got to do. Ideally, we would have daycare." - Alexandra Mackenzie, Minyip
Explore the profound narratives in 'Choiceless' here.