ECA and Thrive by Five comment on “more ambitious” ECEC policy outlined in Budget reply | Sector

ECA and Thrive by Five comment on “more ambitious” ECEC policy outlined in Budget reply

by Freya Lucas

May 18, 2021

Both Early Childhood Australia (ECA) and advocacy group Thrive by Five have responded to Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s Budget in Reply, in which he outlined a renewed commitment to abolishing the CCS cap and increasing CCS to lower the cost of early childhood education and care (ECEC) for “virtually every family”.

 

The Thrive by Five campaign welcomed Mr Albanese’s affirmation of the “more ambitious” early learning and childcare policy in his budget-in-reply speech, saying that all major parties have now acknowledged the need for reform of the early learning sector in order to boost productivity, grow the economy, help address gender inequality and ensure every child has the best possible start in life.

 

Now that this has taken place, Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said, it is up to all state and territory governments to work alongside the Commonwealth to “bring further ambitious proposals on early learning to the National Cabinet summit in late July.” 

 

The upcoming national summit, he continued, presents an opportunity to bring together “complex and fragmented” early childhood services across different areas of responsibility into a comprehensive, high quality and coordinated system.

 

Central to this system, Mr Weatherill said, are the following elements: 

 

  • Quality early learning delivery standards with secure, appropriately paid employment for educators;
  • Place-based, community-driven centres; and,
  • Early childhood development system connected to the education system.

 

ECA CEO Samantha Page agreed, saying that “Australia has the potential to have a world-class system that delivers high-quality early education to every young child, in every community, at an affordable cost for every family.”

 

Ms Page endorsed the Labor Party response, saying the proposed plan “goes a step further” to support families to access ECEC by lifting the CCS rate to 90 per cent for all families, as opposed to lifting it only for those with more than one child. 

 

To access Mr Albanese’s reply in full, please see here

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