Thrive by Five welcomes ACCC Inquiry into rising early learning and childcare costs
21 September 2022 – The Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five campaign has welcomed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) establishment of an Inquiry into the rising costs of early learning and childcare that continue to put many family budgets under pressure.
The cost of early learning and childcare in Australia is amongst the highest in OECD countries. Around two-thirds of families cite this cost as one of their biggest expenses[].
The announcement of the 12-month inquiry, starting in January 2023 and funded by a $10.8 million commitment in the upcoming Federal Budget, is a positive yet long-overdue step toward addressing the skyrocketing costs that have impacted many families’ decision to access early learning and childcare.
Thrive by Five Director Jay Weatherill says, “The cost of early learning has increased by 6.5% over the last year[], stretching family budgets and leaving them struggling to access early learning for their children.
“This Inquiry is a welcome commitment by the Federal Government as they seek to alleviate early learning and childcare costs to make it more accessible for families.
“In doing so, not only will family budgets benefit from reduced out-of-pocket costs, but it will also offer many parents the option of returning to work or increasing their number of working hours, and boost the economic participation of women.
“Thrive by Five has heard so many stories from families who would love to access early learning for their children’s benefit, but simply can’t due to the soaring costs.
“We are looking forward to the ACCC’s Inquiry, it’s findings, and the resulting actions that will address this extremely important issue for many Australians.
“This should be complemented by bringing forward the changes to the Federal Government’s Child Care Subsidy to January 2023 to help address critical workforce shortages and save low-income families an additional $295.[]”
 Starting Better: A Guarantee for Young Children and Families, Centre for Policy Development, 2021, https://cpd.org.au/wp-content/
 Consumer Price Index Australia, Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2022, https://www.abs.gov.au/
 Bringing Forward Labor’s Changes to Early Childhood Education and Care Subsidies to Hasten the Benefits, Per Capita, 2022, https://thrivebyfive.org.au/