ECEC will be on the minds of more than half of Saturday’s voting parents, ELACCA finds

by Freya Lucas

May 14

More than half of all people of voting age living in families with young children say that early learning education and care (ECEC) will be “a key factor” in determining their vote in Saturday’s Federal election, according to new polling from the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA).

 

The Essential Research findings, commissioned by ELACCA, found that 56 per cent of respondents with young families said they would be ‘much more likely’ to vote for a party with ‘aligned views on childcare’.

 

Between 5 and 9 May, 1,079 voters were polled. Strong support was also given from respondents on key elements of the policies outlined by Opposition parties during the election campaign.

 

Of those surveyed, 69 per cent supported guaranteed access to early learning for all three and four year old children.

 

When asked about support for the provision of free early learning to families earning under $69,000, 65 per cent of respondents supported the idea. On the issue of government-backed childcare subsidies for those families earning a combined income of less than $174,000 per year, 55 per cent of respondents gave their support.

 

Perhaps the most divisive policy announced by the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in the campaign was the issue of increased wages for early learning educators (a 20 per cent pay rise, to be rolled out over ten years). The proposal was supported by 60 per cent of respondents.

 

CEO of ELACCA, Elizabeth Death, said the results show that investment in quality early learning “resonates across the electorate”.

 

“This research shows that early learning is a vote changing issue for parents with younger children,” Ms Death said.

 

“It also indicates there is strong and increasing support across the community for an investment in early learning, particularly a recognition that children’s development is a top priority.”

 

Ms Death encouraged families to have a good understanding of what all candidates are offering, and to utilise a variety of summaries and tools to understand the impact of various policies on their family circumstances.

 

To view ELACCA’s election scorecard, disseminating the various proposals from the ALP, the Coalition and the Australian Greens, see here.

 

To access an online calculator, tailored to assess the impact of the various policies on household budgets, see here.

 

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