ECA budget submission implores Government to “make early learning affordable”
Early Childhood Australia (ECA) is calling for greater investment from the Australian Government in the upcoming 2020 Budget to ensure every child in Australia has access to high-quality education and care via its pre budget submission.
While the Government has endeavoured to support the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector through the pandemic, ECA CEO Samantha Page said, making childcare more affordable for Australian families is “the next step in ensuring that young children don’t miss out on early learning”.
ECA also called for an increase in the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) to 95 per cent for low-income families, to overcome cost barriers to children’s participation in ECEC.
“The current subsidy performs poorly for families with reduced income and work hours, which a lot of families are experiencing during this time,” Ms Page said, warning that Australia “cannot afford to have children falling through the cracks in the crucial years before school”.
Citing research from the Grattan Institute ECA said that by boosting CCS to 95 per cent, the additional investment would ensure every child had stable access to early education and boost the economy by generating returns of $11 billion annually.
As well as lifting CCS, ECA called on the Government to suspend the activity test until the end of the financial year, describing it as unfit for the current economic climate.
“After the suspension period has finished, we would also like to see the activity test reviewed as many families are likely to experience precarious workforce engagement well into 2021,” Ms Page said.
To view the full pre-budget submission, visit the ECA website here.