Post election, new ECEC policy initiatives likely on hold as sector awaits minister confirmation
With the Australian General Election now over and Scott Morrison’s Coalition securing another term in government, expectations for any meaningful changes or additions to the current early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector policy mix are low.
In the run up to the election, Mr Morrison’s Coalition did not actively campaign on any new significant ECEC related policy initiatives however, the previous Coalition Government, led by Malcolm Turnbull, did oversee the implementation of the Child Care Subsidy that came into effect in July 2018.
Looking forward, in the absence of any clear policy pathways, expectations for change will remain low and it will be some degree ‘business as usual’ for the foreseeable future.
Next major announcement is who will be Minister responsible for ECEC
With the Coalition winning another term, Prime Minister Morrison will now be assessing the makeup of his new ministry.
Of particular interest to the ECEC sector will be the Minister charged with responsibility for the early childhood portfolio, and whether or not responsibility for early childhood will remain within the broader context of education.
Dan Tehan, member for Wannon, was the Education Minister prior to the election and was also responsible for ECEC. Mr Tehan was successful in retaining his seat, with 98 of 99 polling places in his electorate returned at time of print, and 81 per cent of votes counted. At this stage, Mr Tehan has 60.6 per cent of the preference vote.
The announcement on the composition of Mr Morrison’s new ministry is expected in the next two weeks. Local news sources within Mr Tehan’s electorate are tipping the Minister will retain his portfolio, with The Standard reporting Mr Tehan as saying he expected to remain as Education Minister.
Speaking with The Standard Mr Tehan reportedly said “The Prime Minister made it clear during the campaign he would like me to continue on” and went on to add “ultimately that is a decision for him, but he was clear on that. I’m happy to serve wherever I am asked.”
Mr Tehan will undertake his fourth term in Parliament under Prime Minister Morrison.
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