The Parenthood has welcomed the Centre for Policy Development’s Starting Now report released today and its recommendations on the next phase of early learning reform.
The Parenthood supports the three key national priorities identified by the report:
- Improving affordability and accessibility of early childhood education and care;
- Ensuring Australia has a skilled workforce of early educators to deliver high-quality early childhood education and care; and
- Commencing joint design on a universal system.
Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent said, “Rising inflation and increasing interest rates make universally accessible, high-quality and affordable early childhood education more critical than ever for parents and the economy.
“The Federal Government can take significant, immediate action by bringing forward changes to the Commonwealth Child Care Subsidy to early 2023. This would free up household budgets, help more parents enter the workforce and provide greater early education opportunities for young children.
“Another key support for parents would be eliminating the activity test to ensure all families can access at least three days a week of early learning.
“The reality is policies improving the affordability and accessibility of early childhood education must also be matched with an increase in the skilled and professional workforce.
“At least 40,000 additional early educators will be required by 2023 to meet growing demand for early learning services but right now the workforce is contracting not expanding.
“Stemming this loss and growing capacity in the sector is fundamental to being able to deliver on the promised reform to make early childhood education and care more affordable and accessible,” Ms Dent said.