The Australian Greens believe that:
- Care for children is the responsibility of society as a whole. The quality of care received by babies and children produces flow-on effects for the whole of their lives and the community.
- The needs of Australian families are diverse. All children should be able to access high-quality childcare and early childhood educational experiences.
- Positive, interactive learning, educational and socialisation opportunities offered by childcare can benefit children and the community by assisting a smooth transition to formal education.
- Investment in early childhood education reduces costs associated with poor school attendance and social disengagement in later years.
- All carers of children should have the opportunity to re-enter or maintain their engagement in the workforce.
- Childcare should be a not-for-profit service.
- People working in the childcare sector should be fairly remunerated for the work they do.
- Families should have diversity in their choice of childcare alternatives within easy access, including via public transport, of the home and workplace.
The Australian Greens want:
- Increased and targeted funding for community-based and not-for-profit child care facilities, especially in areas of high unmet demand or growth and areas of high socio-economic needs.
- Increased access to publicly funded childcare for carers of children on low and middle incomes who are working or undertaking training or education.
- Reform of the Federal Government support for childcare to ensure improved affordability of childcare for low and middle income families, including parents and carers who are studying.
- Pay rates and working conditions for childcare works that reflect the skill level required in, and the importance of, childcare work.
- Greater assistance for a national planning system for childcare services, including a national demand model for childcare service planning.
- Improved professional development opportunities and professional standards for childcare workers.
- Comprehensive and transparent reporting requirements across the childcare sector.
- Increased financial assistance for childcare centre programs that offer flexible hours and occasional childcare in what has become an increasingly flexible workplace.
- Improved access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families to early childcare services.
- Measures to provide inclusive early childcare services to meet the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse people, people with a disability, and people of diverse sexualities, gender identities or intersex variation.
- All relevant early childhood education guidelines, policies and procedures to be inclusive in their acceptance of family diversity.
[Policy endorsed: November 2017]