Labor updates ECEC policy pledges in wake of Albenese’s budget reply speech

Labor updates ECEC policy pledges in wake of Albenese’s budget reply speech

by Jason Roberts

April 01, 2022

The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has updated its core pledges associated with the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector in the wake of Leader Anthony Albanese’s Budget reply speech that placed early learning as a core pillar of his party’s pre-election promises. 

 

The key changes are a new commitment to maintain the higher child care subsidy (CCS) rates which were implemented by the current Government for the second and additional children in care and also the omission of a previous pledge to improve transparency across the sector by forcing large providers to publicly report more detail on their operations. 

 

The ALP’s key ECEC positions are now:

 

  • Lift the maximum child care subsidy rate to 90 per cent for families for the first child in care;

 

  • Increase child care subsidy rates for every family with one child in care earning less than $530,000 in household income;

 

  • Keep higher child care subsidy rates for the second and additional children in care;

 

  • Extend the increased subsidy (of 90%) to outside school hours care

 

  • Request the ACCC to design a price regulation mechanism to drive out of pocket costs down for good

 

  • Request the Productivity Commission to conduct a comprehensive review of the sector with the aim of implementing a universal 90 per cent subsidy for all families

 

  • Develop and implement a “whole of government” Early Years Strategy to create a new integrated approach to the early years.

 

The implementation of the changes associated with the CCS will be pushed out to July 2023, from the originally planned July 2022. 

 

“This isn’t some one-off hand-out five minutes before an election,” Mr Albanese said, “It’s meaningful help with the cost of living and a permanent saving for millions of families” 

 

“Labor believes that at every stage – from early learning, through to school, TAFE and university – education lifts us up, not just as individuals but as a country,” Mr Albense said. 

 

“Making child care cheaper will mean more Australian children get access to early education, giving them a great start in life. Our plan will end the economic distortion that stops mothers in particular from working more than three or four days a week.”

 

Mr Albense’s comments come in the wake of the Federal Budget 2022 which was delivered by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday 29 March. 

 

To read Mr Albenese’s budget reply speech click here and to read the ALP’s updated ECEC policy mix please click here

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