Early Learning Monitor 2023


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What Australia thinks about early learning.

The Early Learning Monitor is a national survey conducted by Essential Research on behalf of Thrive by Five. The monitor was first run in 2021, this is its third year.

This research aims to understand how everyday Australians and parents think the early learning system currently works, how it impacts children into adulthood and how important this issue is to their vote. In 2023, the research surveyed n=4,533 Australians over 18 years old, regardless of whether they had children or not. For more information about how we conducted this research and to read the methodology click here.

Key facts 2023


of Australians believe that

high costs limit many parents’ ability to send their children to childcare or preschool.

Monitor highlight


of Australians say

cheaper childcare would be very good for the economy

up by 13% since October 2020.


of Australians agree that the

public education system needs to be extended to include early childhood education

that is accessible to those who wish to use it.

Monitor highlight


of Australians believe it is important that

checks on children’s development are improved, so health issues and learning difficulties are picked up sooner

Early learning monitor results 2023

Click to expand for more detailed breakdowns

Support for a universal high-quality early childhood education and care system

Cheaper early childhood education would be beneficial to the economy

Early learning should be treated as part of the education system

Importance of improving early learning education and care to Federal vote

Belief that many families don’t send their children to early childhood education and care or limit how long they send them, because of the cost

Important that checks on children's development are improved, so health issues and learning difficulties are picked up sooner

Important that more people have access to early childhood education and care if they want to use it

Important that the costs of early learning and care are as low as possible

Belief that children who attend daycare or preschool at a centre will often have more opportunities for play-based learning than those who do not

Belief that children who have not been exposed to play-based learning between the ages of zero to five either start school behind, or are not ready to learn



2021 Archive