Federal 2020-21 Budget provides no additional ECEC focussed support measures
The Federal Government has handed down their 2020-21 Budget in which, other than commitments made earlier in the year, contains no new measures to support the early childhood education and care ECEC sector.
The much-anticipated announcement comes in the wake of vigorous advocacy activity from across the ECEC sector calling for a range of measures including those designed to overcome barriers to participation in ECEC post the COVID-19 pandemic, funding to develop and implement a National Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce strategy as endorsed by Education Council in December 2019 and efforts to secure a long term commitment to Universal Access to preschool funding beyond the next 18 months.
Within the budget itself the following key entries for ECEC have been included all of which are measures previously announced or enacted:
- COVID-19 Response Package – child care – Victorian recovery payments and other support measures in which payments of $314.2 million have been committed to services for the 2020-21 period from the 28 September to 21 January 2021 following $51.7 million extended during the Stage 4 lockdown.
- National Partnership Agreement on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education —extension in which $458.3 million has been allocated to the 2020 and 2021 calendar years and to fund the National Early Childhood Education and Care Collection in early 2022.
- New Arrangements for the Child Care Subsidy and the Additional Child Care Subsidy all of which capture changes to the CCS legislation passed by the Senate in December 2019 that will yield net savings of $1.7 million over five years.
In a statement, Education Minister Dan Tehan MP said “Child care services are vital for so many parents and their children. In 2020-21, the Government will pay approximately $9 billion in Child Care Subsidy payments. Due to the means-tested nature of the subsidy, families who have lost income or work during the COVID-19 pandemic and continue to use care will receive a higher level of subsidy.”
To read the Budget 2020-21 papers please click here and navigate to pages 73 and 237.