While early learning was a Budget win, vulnerable families are at risk, Mission Aust. says

While early learning was a Budget win, vulnerable families are at risk, Mission Aust. says

by Freya Lucas

May 17, 2021

Mission Australia has welcomed the Government’s commitment to giving children the best possible start in life through more affordable access to quality education and care, as announced in last week’s Budget, adding that while the commitment is welcome, there is still more to be done when it comes to support for children and vulnerable families.

 

The charity, a founding member of the Goodstart consortium, welcomed the Budget announcement, describing the newly announced packages for the sector as “a very welcome stride towards early childhood education and care reform.”

 

“Affordable early learning also reduces barriers for parents to return to work and is an important contributor toward a more fair and prosperous Australia,” CEO James Toomey said. 

 

While happy with what the Budget delivered for early learning, Mr Toomey was somewhat critical of the “absence of leadership” on measures required at a federal level to address homelessness and increase affordable housing.

 

“The essential social infrastructure of social housing has been ignored yet again while the Federal Government continues to heavily invest in other infrastructure. Where is the leadership and innovation which this issue desperately requires?” he asked. 

 

“While we acknowledge the Government’s investment in measures to help support people into home ownership, including single parents through the Family Home Guarantee, these do not go far enough to address the structural problems with housing and homelessness in this country.”

 

Mr Toomey was cautiously complimentary of the Government’s commitment to reducing unemployment, saying that Mission Australia “recognise its investment in training and skills development measures for people who are unemployed”.

 

“However, we remain cautious about how these training opportunities will be administered. They must not become part of a punitive system of mandatory requirements that will punish rather than support those who are unemployed.

 

“This training must also lead to jobs. Currently, there is one job for every seven people seeking work, which no amount of training will remedy.”

 

To read the Mission Australia response to the Budget in full, please see here. For an overview of key Budget announcements, and how they relate to ECEC, please see here

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