Delivering a better deal for women, children and families, through early learning and childcare reform, was a major feature of the election campaigns of the political parties and independents who succeeded on Saturday, according to The Parenthood.
Throughout the election campaign Prime Minister Anthony Albanese described making quality early learning universally accessible a key legacy of any government he would lead.
The Parenthood Executive Director Georgie Dent has congratulated the new Prime Minister and welcomed his commitment to early learning reform that was reiterated in his victory speech.
“The significance of a Prime Minister with the bold ambition to make universal access to quality child care a reality for Australians cannot be understated,” Ms Dent said. “It is critical that the new government acts swiftly to deliver much more affordable early learning.”
Dent noted that the Greens and almost all of the new Independents made gender equity a central pledge of their campaigns and called on them to ensure early learning reform is a priority agenda item.
“For too long parents, children and educators around the country have been grappling with an early learning system that isn’t working well enough,” Ms Dent said.
“It’s been unaffordable, inaccessible or unsustainable for too long. The new Prime Minister has a significant opportunity to deliver meaningful progress on this issue in the first 100 days of the new government.”
“Early learning reform is the most compelling and practical agenda item for the new crossbench to ease cost of living pressure, tackle gender inequality and increase female workforce participation.
“We need a new early learning system that encourages women to take on paid work on their own terms, not punishes them for it. We need an early learning system that is supported by a well paid and properly valued workforce and we need to ensure every child - regardless of their postcode or parents’ income - has access to quality early learning before school.
“For most working families after housing early learning is the biggest source of financial pain and it is simply unaffordable and unsustainable,” Ms Dent said.
“Early learning reform will give meaningful relief to working families, set children up for lifelong success, create jobs, boost national productivity and reduce gender inequity,” Dent said.
“On 21 May almost two thirds of Australians voted for candidates and parties committed to to this reform. We cannot afford to ignore it.”