IPART REPORT HIGHLIGHTS OPPORTUNITY FOR NSW GOVERNMENT TO LEAD ON UNIVERSAL EARLY LEARNING REFORM
31 July 2023 – The New South Wales government has the opportunity to boost the economy while giving children a better start to life, after an independent tribunal found many parents did not go back to work because childcare was too expensive and hard to access.
The findings of a survey by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) show that:
- The current high costs of early learning are a barrier to workforce participation for 76% of parents.
- Providers recognise the importance of supporting educators, with 94% saying better support could address workforce issues.
- Access to early learning remains a significant issue with 59% of parents saying it is difficult to find services that meet their needs 
Minderoo Foundation’s Jay Weatherill said the IPART findings were a timely reminder to the NSW government that investment in the early years was the best economic and social path forward to ensure NSW children have the best start in life and to make the state stronger and more prosperous.
“NSW has made excellent steps towards a universally accessible, affordable and high-quality early learning system that need follow-up and continued leadership at both National Cabinet and Macquarie Street,” Mr Weatherill said.
“These findings are damning but sadly not surprising. Families still struggle to access early learning, and this has significant implications for the workforce and for children.
“Thrive by Five wants the NSW Government to scale up its investment and to bring early learning forward as a top priority at National Cabinet. This would not only support the NSW economy, but it would also make a huge difference for all children in the state,” Mr Weatherill said.