Anthony Albanese places ECEC subsidy and fee reform at heart of Budget response
Federal Labor leader Anthony Albanese MP has placed reform of the current early childhood education and care (ECEC) subsidy system at the heart of his Federal Budget Response and has indicated a commitment to instruct the Productivity Commission to investigate the merits of a 90 per cent subsidy for all Australian Families should Labor win the next election.
“What children learn at childcare is so vital for giving our kids the best possible start. But the current system of caps and subsidies and thresholds isn’t just confusing and costly, it actually penalises the families it’s meant to help,’ Mr Albanese said. “If I’m elected Prime Minister, I’m going to fix this.”
The key components of Mr Albanese’s plan are as follows:
- The Child Care Subsidy (CCS) annual cap of $10,560 will be removed for families earning more than $189,390 per year
- The current maximum CCS rate of 85 per cent will be increased to 90 per cent for eligible families earning up to $69,390 per year
It has also been reported, although it wasn’t mentioned in Mr Albanese’s speech, that a Labor Government would allow tapered access to the subsidy to families earning up to $530,000 per annum, a substantial increase from the current $353,680 cap.
Additionally, Mr Albanese committed to progressing two further initiatives in his first time as Prime Minister should Labor win the next election, namely:
- To instruct the Productivity Commission to investigate a 90 per cent fee subsidy for ECEC for every Australian
- To instruct the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to design a fee regulation mechanism
The overall plan, which focussed largely on improving accessibility and sustaining affordability of early childhood education and care for Australian families did not however include commitments around educator wage reform, a policy position championed by previous Labor Leader Bill Shorten.
To view Mr Albanese’s Federal Budget Response please click here.