If the cost of early childhood education and care influences your vote this Saturday there is a huge difference between what the major parties are offering.
Ensuring every child in Australia has access to quality early childhood education should be a bipartisan issue, but that's not the case this time. There is a chasm between what the Coalition, Labor and The Greens are offering families at the ballot box on Saturday.
- The Coalition
The Coalition committed $1.7billion in additional funding in the 2021/2022 Federal budget, over three years, to ease the pressure on families with two children in care. Those changes came into effect on 7 March this year and have reduced the out of pocket cost for 25% of families using early childhood education and care.
Labor has committed an additional $5.4billion over three years, in addition to supporting a Productivity Review to moving towards universal access to early childhood education and care and looking at the gender pay gap that affects early educators. Labor has established it as the party's biggest financial pledge because of the $2 return that is earned for every dollar spent on early learning. These changes mean 97% of families using early childhood education and care will be better off under Labor.
- The Greens
The Greens have included free early childhood education and care as a key policy for any balance of power negotiations in the likelihood of a minority parliament.
On Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned the cost of early childhood education for the first time in the campaign on his own social media. He wrote that a family of four with two kids in daycare, with both parents working full-time and earning $90,000 each a year, would save almost $200 a week under the Coalition's new childcare subsidy and tax relief.
Using that scenario, under the Coalition's policy, and using an average cost of $131 a day, that family would pay $499.85 a week for care, while under Labor's proposed policy the family would pay $284.43 a week. Annually, Labor's policy would save that family $11,202 more than the Coalition's.
Take the politics out of early childhood education
We are not a partisan organisation, and strongly believe that there should be no difference in the major parties' policies when it comes to the early years. With days to go in this campaign, we are calling for the Coalition to match the ALP's commitment on early childhood education and care.
By taking the politics out of early childhood education and care, we can create genuine choice for Australian working parents, improve opportunities for all children and give women a decent shot at developing financial security.
As it stands now, on 21 May there is a real choice to change the early childhood education system for the better and get a better deal for families!