ECEC sector peak bodies welcome Governments proposed CCS changes
Early Childhood Education and Care sector peak bodies have welcomed the Federal Government’s proposed changes to the Child Care Subsidy in a series of statements released in the wake of the announcement.
The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) said that they commend the Federal Government for their commitment to provide additional funding for Australian families with young children via boosting the Child Care Subsidy (CCS).
Samantha Page, CEO of Early Childhood Australia said she is pleased the government has listened to the chorus of voices calling for greater investment in early education to increase children’s participation in early learning, boost women’s workforce participation and the economy.
And the Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) said that they applaud the Australian Government’s announcement of a further $1.7 billion investment in early learning and care, to give parents – and especially mothers – more opportunity to build their careers and their family income.
Affordability improvements targeted at specific families to drive workforce participation
The announced changes will see families with more than one child attending and early childhood education and care service and families earning above $189,390 with children attending an ECEC service receive significant boosts in the subsidies they receive which in turn is expected to encourage more families to opt to boost their propensity to work.
ACA president Paul Mondo said “The ACA – whose 4,000 member services care for over 360,000 families – has long advocated for the removal of the CCS annual cap as it has been a major disincentive for secondary income earners when deciding how many days they would like to work.”
Ms Page said, “Research shows that quality early childhood education and care has significant lifelong benefits for children’s development and learning. ECA has been calling for changes to the Child Care Subsidy system to support women’s workforce participation and improve children’s access to quality early learning.”
Ms Death said “We welcome the Australian Government’s decision to remove some of the disincentives for families’ participation in the workforce. Supporting parents to balance work and family responsibilities is one of the great services provided by Australia’s early learning and care sector.”
Peaks call for continued investment, with ECA highlighting key areas for further action
In his closing remarks Mr Mondo said “Whilst there remains an opportunity for further refinements, we look forward to working with the Federal Government on implementing these reforms and identifying further opportunities to invest in Australia’s children and their future.”
Ms Death signalled ELACCA’s ongoing position by noting that they “Continue to encourage the Australian Government to invest in evidence-based, ongoing improvements to the Child Care Subsidy system, with the goal of every Australian child having access to high-quality early learning in the years before formal schooling, and every parent having the choice to work.’
Ms Page highlighted that there is still work to be done to further improve the system, including ensuring continued funding for universal access to preschool and also noted that “the changes announced today add complexity to an already complex system –therefore clear information must be available to families and providers.”
Finally, Ms Page also expressed a note of disappointment in the timing of the proposed implementation of the changes saying “While ECA believes this investment is a step in the right direction, we are disappointed that changes are planned to come in to effect in 2022, meaning many families currently using child care won’t have any relief.”
To read about the proposed changes please click here.