July 12th, 2021

National Cabinet must take five steps to reform early learning and childcare: Thrive by Five.


National Cabinet must take five steps to reform early learning and childcare: Thrive by Five

12 July 2021 – Thrive by Five, the national campaign for early learning and childcare reform, is ramping up the pressure on politicians around the country and calling on National Cabinet to drive ambitious change in this crucial policy area.

Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said although there had been important developments in recent months, there was still more to be done to ensure Australia’s early learning and childcare system became high quality, universally accessible and affordable.

“We are a strong community of over 50,000 people and supported by over 35 organisations united in the call for change and we are mounting pressure on our political leaders,” Mr Weatherill said.

“Hundreds of campaign supporters have already emailed National Cabinet leaders, asking the Prime Minister, State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers to adopt a five point plan for reform including an increased childcare subsidy, additional workforce planning for educators and universal access, particularly for three year old preschool.

“This follows recent announcements of major investments in the sector from states such as NSW, South Australia and Victoria.

“Thrive by Five is urging state and territory governments to continue to make early learning and childcare a priority for all Australians by pushing for Federal Government action during the meeting.”

National Cabinet is meeting to discuss women’s economic security and affordable early learning and childcare is on the agenda.

“We know National Cabinet is a crucial decision-making body and now that the issue is on the agenda, it needs to stay there until we see reform,” Mr Weatherill said.

“This is an important factor in women’s economic security, affordable childcare would deliver $150,000 in higher lifetime earnings for the average Australian working mother.

“Australians are calling on their leaders at National Cabinet to drive ambitious reform and they cannot be ignored. We look forward to hearing the decisions that come out of this meeting.”

Specifically, National Cabinet should adopt a five point plan to reform early learning and childcare proposed by Thrive by Five at their next meeting:

  1. Agree to a new Federal-State Partnership to deliver universal three-year-old preschool across the country to match the partnership agreement in place for four-year-old preschool.
  2. Lift the childcare subsidy to 95 per cent for all children and set agreed fee caps.
  3. Make the childcare subsidy available to all children regardless of the service type and the income or work status of the parents.
  4. Start workforce planning for a universal system and fund appropriate pay and conditions for educators and childcare workers to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high staff turnover rates across the sector.
  5. To achieve these outcomes, we ask that early education and childcare become a part of the National Cabinet reform agenda to deal with complexities of the system and build a true national universal system.

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