Pre Budget submissions highlight the need for cheaper ECEC
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Pre Budget submissions highlight the need for cheaper ECEC

Pre Budget submissions highlight the need for cheaper ECEC

by Freya Lucas

January 31, 2024

Early childhood education and care (ECEC) advocacy groups have begun to share their pre Budget submissions calling for reforms to Australia’s ECEC sector based on the most recent Productivity Commission and ACCC reports. 


The Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five campaign has used its pre-Budget submission to call for key changes including increasing the Child Care Subsidy for families earning $80,000 a year or less. 


“Many households are feeling the pinch right now, and no doubt the government is looking for options that will bring down the cost of living, boost productivity and not add to inflation,” Director Jay Weatherill said. 


“Early childhood education reform ticks all these boxes.”

Australian families currently need to use a higher proportion of their income to pay for childcare than families in most other OECD countries, which in turn means many are having to cut back on other things, or that children are missing out on the early education that is so crucial to their cognitive and social development.

In addition to making ECEC more affordable, the Thrive by Five campaign has called for:


  • The Activity Test, which prevents many families from accessing subsidised care, to be abolished.
  • A substantial wage increase for early childhood teachers and educators of between 10 and 25 per cent, which will boost staff recruitment and retention.
  • A Commonwealth Taskforce that can establish an Independent Early Childhood Commission and implement the recommendations of the ACCC and Productivity Commission inquiries.
  • Establishment of a high-quality early childhood development system and early childhood guarantee.


Mr Weatherill said these reforms would not only be good for children, families and educators, but for the economy as a whole.

“Reforming the early childhood education system will be a win for employers, a win for women’s workforce participation, and most importantly, a win for children and families.” 

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