Childcare fee hikes show the need for universal & free early learning


Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said that reports of early childhood education and care providers raising their fees ahead of changes to the childcare subsidy kicking in on 10 July show that tinkering around the edges doesn’t work. 

Senator Faruqi said:

“Tweaks and touch ups won’t fix a broken system. If the Government is serious about transforming early childhood education for the better, they should deliver universal, free early learning and phase out for-profit education.”

“Over the past few weeks, I’ve been bombarded with reports of providers raising their fees and rendering the Government's signature early education affordability reforms a flop. Many families will see little or no difference to the cost of early childhood education because of fee hikes. 

“This situation was completely foreseeable. I’ve been questioning the Government for months about the risk of providers raising their fees and mitigating the impact of their childcare subsidy reforms but the Government has been sitting on its hands.

“Delivering free early childhood education and care would have a transformative effect on how we educate and care for children, enable more choices for women and make a significant difference to the many families struggling to make ends meet during this cost of living crisis. 

 “We need a system where every child in this country has access to high quality, free, accessible early childhood education and care no matter their post code, bank balance or background

“The government must also act to fix the early learning workforce crisis. Early childhood education and care workers deserve a pay rise and recognition and respect for the important work they do. They have been undervalued for far too long.”