UNICEF Australia believes that every Australian child should have the opportunity to achieve their potential, no matter where they live or what their circumstances.
We know that participation in quality early learning is important in providing children with the best start in life. It also helps to boost participation in the workforce by women and in turn, positively impacts the economy.
The injection of $1.7b additional funds into the 2021-22 Budget is a welcome and important step in improving the affordability of early childhood education and care for Australian families. The Government has targeted these measures carefully to help increase access to early childhood education and care services for children in low and lower middle-income families. We are encouraged by this focus and believe that it is the right place to start.
Our pre-budget submission called for a lifting of the taper rate for low and lower-middle income families from 85% to 95%, and we are pleased to see this reform has been introduced for such families, with two or more children under five.
We are also pleased to see the removal of the annual cap to the CCS, which will benefit a significant number of families, by removing disincentives to increased female workforce participation and enable children to attend a greater number of days in early learning settings.
We thank the Morrison Government for this significant investment in Australia’s children. We are committed to ongoing collaboration with the Federal Government which builds on this investment to continually improve the quality and affordability of Australia’s early childhood education and care system. There is no more important investment that can be made, than those targeted to support our children.