February 23rd, 2022

Early learning system under pressure as fees rise and workforce crisis continues.


Early learning system under pressure as fees rise and workforce crisis continues

23 February 2022 – The pressure is growing for parents, providers and workers as Omicron exposes the strain on Australia’s early learning system, with media reports today of a fee increase from G8.

The Australian Financial Review has today reported early learning group G8 will push through fee increases of almost 4.5 per cent. Recent data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed childcare costs have risen by 6.5 per cent over the past year.

Thrive by Five is calling on the Federal Government to prioritise Australia’s need for affordable, high-quality early learning and childcare in the upcoming Federal budget.

Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said, “Surging costs are a strong indicator that the nation’s early learning system needs urgent reform.

“Rising childcare costs drive up the cost of living for families, hold back parents from entering into paid work or increasing work hours, and can limit the opportunity for children to access learning in the critical early years.

“The viability of early learning services is also under threat from the impacts of  Omicron and a long-standing workforce crisis and a lack of government support to help keep services sustainable.

“Every child, regardless of their postcode or family circumstances, should have access to at least three days of quality, affordable early learning and care, starting as soon as parents want it.

“Now is the time for all political parties to commit to universally accessible, high-quality early learning and education for all Australians,” he said.