Latest data reveals an alarming increase in serious incidents in childcare centres
4 February 2022 – The number of serious incidents reported in early learning and childcare has jumped by 24 per cent in the previous year, according to the Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services (ROGS) 2022  .
‘Serious incidents’ include death, trauma, illness, injury, emergency service attendance, and children locked in/out, unaccounted for or taken away.
CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative Jay Weatherill said these figures reflect a sector in crisis and ignoring them will have far-reaching impacts on Australian children, parents, and the economy.
“The early learning and childcare sector has long faced workforce shortage issues, and now COVID-19 has made them worse,” he said.
“Currently, 11 per cent of long day care services hold a staffing waiver because of difficulty meeting staffing requirements. 
“We’ve got a situation where children’s safety is at risk, costs of early learning and childcare services are going up, many parents who want to work are being kept at home, and all while our economy is reeling from a global pandemic.
“More than 70,000 Australians did not work in 2021 due to the high cost of early learning and childcare service. 
“If we want Australia to build back better, we need to support parents back into the workforce by ensuring an affordable, safe environment for children to thrive in.
“We urge all political parties to commit to universally accessible, safe, and high quality early learning and childcare,” Mr Weatherill said.