ELACCA applauds Budget commitments to ECEC, turns attention to National Workforce Strategy
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA), has welcomed the 2021/22 Budget, referring to it as a “budget for Australia’s youngest learners and their families” as well as welcoming the Government’s commitments to fund Universal Access to preschool for four years.
“The 2021 Budget delivers for children, families and Australia’s early learning and care sector, increasing investment to support young children’s learning and women’s workforce participation,” a statement from ELACCA read.
ELACCA CEO Elizabeth Death applauded the Government’s commitment to ensuring every Australian child will gain ongoing access to an affordable preschool program, regardless of the delivery setting.
Confirmation that the Government will now guarantee preschool funding for a period of longer than 12 months comes after extensive and persistent advocacy from the sector and several years of disappointment as previous budgets failed to provide the additional certainty.
“From 2023, parents and carers can choose a preschool program that meets their child’s needs and that suits their family’s circumstances. For many families, this will give them access to affordable preschool programs delivered in long day care services for the first time,” Ms Death said.
Looking ahead she also noted the importance of now refocusing efforts on developing a “robust, highly qualified early childhood workforce” and shared ELACCA’s hope to see spending commitments later in the year to support the successful pursuit of the new Closing the Gap targets for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children.
“ELACCA continues to champion the early learning workforce and will continue to work with the Government to ensure that the new National Workforce Strategy for early learning and care is well-resourced and successful,” Ms Death added.
Earlier this year ELACCA launched a first of its kind peak driven national campaign called Big Roles in Little Lives , designed to raise awareness around early childhood education and care (ECEC) as a career option to attract more Australians to early learning.