Today, we released our Pre-Budget Submission: Quality, not Crisis. Australia’s economy, families and society depend on a quality early childhood education and care sector. Increasing support by the Government, by increasing the funding to early learning and care, will have a positive impact on female workforce participation.
Any boost in funding of quality early learning has a clear return on investment for the Australian economy, now and into the future. It is also crucial for Australian families. The affordability and accessibility of early learning and care raise concerns for families with young children across this country. In terms of affordability for families, the way in which additional funding is put into the sector must be considered carefully when making any decisions on the reform of the Childcare Benefit and Childcare Rebate.
The Government’s commitment to quality education and care for all Australian children is of paramount concern for families and the protection of quality standards in the National Quality framework is vital to achieve this.
Lastly, but importantly, quality early childhood education and care is absolutely dependent on quality educators. To ensure this professional workforce can remain in the early childhood sector, educators must be provided with professional wages. This is critical to the sector’s ability to retain and attract the best and brightest to what is ultimately an essential service.