Early learning reform needed to support women
The Sector > Economics > Affordability & Accessibility > Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce recommends early learning reform

Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce recommends early learning reform

by Freya Lucas

October 24, 2023

The Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce has provided the Australian Government with its final report, making seven primary recommendations focusing on the key themes of care, work, education and skills, the tax and transfer system, and government processes.


Central to the report is the identification of early childhood education and care (ECEC) as a pivotal component of female workforce participation, and a number of ECEC-focused reform recommendations including: 


  •     Legislating and investing in universal, high-quality and affordable ECEC that meets the  needs of modern families, and is culturally appropriate;


  •     Immediately abolishing the Child Care Subsidy Activity Test;


  •     Increasing the parental leave payment to 52 weeks and offering leave payment at replacement wage level;


  •     Paying superannuation on the paid parental leave entitlement and incentivising males to use the scheme; and, 


  •     Elevating the status of care work to attract a skilled and diverse workforce.


“The report recognises the need for a nation-wide cultural shift, in which the responsibility of caring for kids and generating family income is shared equally between parents. This is a shift that will take years to see tangibly, so we really need to start now,” said The Parenthood Interim CEO Jessica Rudd.

Women’s Economic Equality: A 10-year plan to unleash the full capacity and contribution of women to the Australian economy provides the Government with practical advice on how to address issues and barriers that women face in the Australian economy. 


“The Government will consider these recommendations alongside the analysis and policy directions of the Employment White Paper as we continue to develop a National Strategy to achieve gender equality that will be released in 2024,” said Federal Minister for Finance, Minister for Women, and Minister for the Public Service the Hon. Katy Gallagher.


The final report of the Women’s Economic Equality Taskforce is available on the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet’s website.

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