Landmark economic opportunity reforms pass NSW Parliament
The Sector > Policy > Legislation > Landmark economic opportunity reforms pass NSW Parliament

Landmark economic opportunity reforms pass NSW Parliament

by Freya Lucas

October 19, 2022

The legislation that underpins the New South Wales Government’s landmark women’s economic opportunity reforms passed Parliament yesterday, directing up to $5 billion of investment in the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector over 10 years to support NSW families with access to childcare (sic.).


Treasurer Matt Kean said the NSW Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund Act 2022, will provide long-term certainty to the sector and boost women’s workforce participation as part of the NSW Government’s $15.9 billion investment in childcare and early childhood education.


“We have enshrined this fund into law to give more NSW families access to high-quality, affordable childcare (sic.)” he said. “Importantly, it will boost women’s economic security by dismantling the barriers for mothers wanting to take on more paid work.” 


“These landmark reforms will help create new places in childcare deserts for parents who face the highest disincentives to work.”


NSW Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said the fund will allow the early childhood sector to expand and innovate by establishing new services, growing existing services, and supporting the sector more broadly.


“This fund will guarantee investment in this key sector, supporting it to provide the highest quality of education and care during the formative years of a child’s life,” she added.


When delivered alongside the Commonwealth’s reforms, the NSW Government’s reforms are expected to allow up to 95,000 women to enter the workforce or take on more hours and boost affordable childcare supply by up to 47,000 places.


NSW Minister for Women Bronnie Taylor said the fund added to other measures announced in the 2022-23 NSW Budget to transform women’s economic opportunity, boost women’s workplace participation and tackle the gender pay gap.


“This fund will help close the gender workforce participation gap by up to 14 per cent within a decade and give more women the genuine choice to re-enter the workforce when they want,” Mrs Taylor said.


The NSW Government will conduct extensive consultation with families and the sector to design the rollout of the Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund. A board will be established to oversee funding decisions about projects.


The fund is due to open for applications mid-next year.


For more information about the reforms, please see here

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