Finding a spot in early learning and care can be tricky anywhere in Australia, but it is especially so for families living in regional, rural and remote areas where places are severely limited.
The 2022 Mitchell Institute report Deserts and Oasis: How accessible is childcare in Australia found that 50% of families in regional areas and around 80% of families in remote neighbourhoods are stranded in ‘childcare deserts’ (an area where there are 3+ children for every available position).
The reality for families living outside metropolitan areas is that they cannot access early childhood education and care where and when they desperately need it.
Without a childcare spot for their child(ren), parents and carers cannot go to work. Children miss out on the many benefits of quality, nurturing early learning. Workforce shortages are exacerbated.
It’s a no brainer: access to high quality, affordable early childhood education and care needs to be improved in regional, rural and remote communities!