Major parties should follow Greens’ lead with commitment to universal, high-quality and affordable early learning
7 March 2022 – Thrive by Five has welcomed the Greens’ policy commitment to more affordable and accessible early childhood education and care for all Australian children, regardless of where they live and how much parents earn.Thrive by Five is calling on the major parties to match or exceed the Greens’ push for:
- Investing $19 bn to ensure childcare is free and accessible for every child;
- Extending universal access to early childhood education for all 3 and 4 year olds to 24 hours a week;
- Ensuring early childhood educators have well paid, secure jobs; and
- Strengthening early learning for First Nations children through support for Aboriginal community-controlled services.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill said, “The Greens have today acknowledged early childhood education and care as an essential service and made a serious commitment to reducing the increasing affordability and access, now it’s time for greater action from the major parties.
“The need for reform of the early learning system is clear.
“Making high-quality early learning and care accessible and affordable for all Australian families is our best chance of giving children the right start in life, supporting greater workforce participation for women, easing pressure on household budgets and growing the economy.
“Early learning is too expensive and there are too many barriers in the way of accessing appropriate and flexible options. This is one of the most significant impediments to women fully participating in the workforce and achieving equality.
“Australian women rate equal first in educational achievement on a global scale, but rate seventieth for economic opportunity.
“We know what’s needed to reform the system, now we must have greater political will to make it happen,” he said.