IMF AGREES EARLY LEARNING A SMART INVESTMENT FOR AUSTRALIA’S COVID RECOVERY
4 November 2020 – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) report that recommends Australia boost childcare spending to make it easier for women to work in a post-COVID economy has been welcomed by the Thrive by Five campaign.
The costs of childcare in Australia are some of the highest in the OECD at 27 per cent of household income.
Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said the push for reform to the early learning system was fast gaining moment among parents, educators, experts and political leaders across Australia and had now been recognised by the IMF as a key national economic opportunity.
“Early learning is a smart investment as every $1 of Federal government funding returns about $2.16 in increased workplace participation benefits, while improving the lives of children,” Mr Weatherill said.
“A significant new investment in early learning and care is the smart way of kickstarting our economy, increasing options for working families and giving children the best possible start to life.
“A universal early learning and childcare system would add up to 380,000 parents – mainly women – to the workforce. This would lead to an increase in productivity, incomes, GDP, and government revenue.”
Mr Weatherill said recent CPI numbers had shown the significant cost of childcare for families.
“With middle-income household budgets under pressure, every dollar saved on early learning becomes disposable income and helps with the cost of living
“Now is the time for bipartisan support to create a universal, high quality early learning system and help secure a better future,” he said.