A new poll of 4,700 Australians confirms the high cost of early childhood education and care is a barrier that parents in Australia want removed and they are willing to vote for a policy to change that.
The Early Learning Monitor, conducted by Essential Research for Thrive by Five, shows that two-thirds of parents with children under school age say improving early learning is an extremely or very important issue to their vote.
“These results are not surprising. Parents in Australia struggle with some of the highest out of pocket fees for early learning and care in the world,” The Parenthood Executive Director, Georgie Dent, said.
“That the vast majority of parents with a child under school age say having access to more affordable, quality early learning and care would help their families and would have reduced the career and family sacrifices they have made illustrates how this issue affects families.
“Much more affordable, quality early learning and care is a vital support children and parents, and particularly mums, in Australia need.
“More than half of the respondents stated that providing more support to working women is an issue they consider extremely or very important at a Federal election and two thirds of parents with children under school age say that supporting working women and improving early education and care are very important issues.
“But it’s not just parents who see the importance of early learning. Sixty-five per cent of respondents, including parents and non-parents, believe a universal, high quality early learning and care system would be good for Australia’s economy.”
“This reflects the understanding among Australians that the role of early learning and quality care to the healthy development of children and family life is invaluable,” Ms Dent said.
Two thirds of parents of children in daycare say they would be more likely to vote for a party that advocated a universal early childhood education and care system.
“The Parenthood backs the call from Thrive by Five to political leaders to listen to the community and place early learning and childcare on the agenda of National Cabinet in coming weeks and work together for real, lasting change,” she said.