The Federal Election is campaign is in full swing, we previously shared the major parties early childhood education and care policies, now it is time to look at the policies and commitments of the other parties and independent candidates (including those running for Senate). We have provided a brief note on their commitments, but you can have a further look at their full policies through the provided links.

Independent Candidate Commitments

Climate 200 Independents



ECEC Policy?

ECEC Commitments

Wentworth Allegra Spender Yes Build a stronger, inclusive workforce through greater access to childcare and improved educational equality
Goldstein Zoe Daniel Yes Make quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) accessible and affordable delivered by a well-supported and properly funded workforce
Kooyong Monique Ryan Yes Affordable childcare and expanded access to early childhood education
North Sydney Kylea Tink Yes Greater support for families, with equal rights for parents to access paid parental leave and universal access to early childhood education
Mackellar Sophie Scamps Yes Helping parents get back into the workforce by establishing universal and affordable childcare
Curtin Kate Chaney Yes Drive workforce participation by supporting working families through more accessible quality childcare
Warringah Zali Steggall Yes Increase accessibility and affordability of childcare and improve the generosity of paid parental leave.
Indi Helen Haines Yes Increase access to high-quality early childhood education and care in the regions
Clark Andrew Wilkie Yes Free universal early childhood education is important for gender equality.
Boothby Jo Dyer Yes Provision of affordable and flexible childcare to maximise female participation in the workforce (and) supporting pay increases for female dominated industries.
Hughes Georgia Steele Yes Universal access to high-quality Early childhood education and care (which) requires a well supported and properly funded workforce.
Page Hanabeth Luke Yes Make childcare more accessible and legislate for fair parental leave to support our working families
Wannon Alex Dyson Yes Improve funding and access to childcare services in rural and regional areas, and support working women to remain in the workforce by expanding paid parental leave.
Mayo Rebekha Sharkie Some Committed to delivering improved educational outcomes for Mayo.
Bradfield Nicolette Boele Some Move to support better and more affordable access to childcare
Calare Kate Hook Some We are all better off when 50% of the population are participating strongly in the workforce.
Cowper Caz Heise Some Close the gender pay gap.
Casey Claire Ferres Miles Some When affordable, accessible childcare, education and support services are available female workforce participation rises.
Flinders Despi O’Connor Some Valuing our care economy.

Other Prominent Independents




ECEC Policy?

ECEC Commitment

Hume Penny Ackery* Yes Supporting young families with better access to childcare
Flinders Sarah Russell* Yes Redesign our childcare system to make it fit for purpose.
Monash Deb Leonard* Yes Better childcare subsidies to ensure all parents, particularly women, are not disincentivised to return to work (and) equitable parental leave.
Nicholls Rob Priestley# Yes Access to childcare is critical to young families to have early learning and socialisation, and to enable parents to return to the workforce when it is their wish to do so. I want to see more investment in the childcare system to enable improved wages for childcare workers while maintain an affordable service for parents.
Hinkler Jack Dempsey# Yes Simplify and increase the Child Care Subsidy; Provide more resources to support children at risk; Increase wages for staff and provide more training in regional areas.
Mallee Sophie Baldwin# Yes Childcare is an investment in the future of our communities. The current subsides are making childcare unaffordable.
Groom Suzie Holt* No
Farrer Amanda Duncan Strelec# No
Grey Liz Habermann# No
Fowler Dai Le# Some We need to have affordable childcare and more of them, to help mums and dads so they can go to work with ease of minds.
Parramatta Steve Christou# Some More childcare places and affordability will ensure Mums, children and families succeed.

*’Voices of’ movement; #Local government or community leader

Senate Candidates

Independent Senate Candidates



ECEC Policy?

ECEC Commitment

ACT Senate David Pocock Yes I will support policies that make childcare more affordable and accessible as a practical way to not only improve early learning outcomes but increase workforce participation
ACT Senate Kim Rubenstein Some Supporting women will improve the lives of all Australians.
NSW Senate Jane Caro Yes Reason supports free childcare and free early childhood education
SA Senate Nick Xenophon Some Before our children start school, they need every opportunity to thrive. That’s why I am inspired by the Minderoo Foundation’s ‘Thrive By Five’ program to give every child the chance to thrive and achieve their full potential.
SA Senate Rex Patrick No
TAS Senate Leanne Minshul No
TAS Senate Tammy Tyrrell (Jacqui Lambie Network) Some Expand the childcare reforms to the children who need them most so they can access early childhood and care.


Other parties competing for Senate seats

A check of the following party’s websites revealed that the following parties have a policy on early learning or childcare:

Australian Greens

Australian Democrats

Australian Progressives

Reason Australia Party

Shooting Farmers & Fishers Party

TNL The New Liberals


The following parties do not have a policy on early learning or childcare:

– Pauline Hanson’s One Nation

– Liberal Democrats

– Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party

– Animal Justice Party

– Katter’s Australian Party

– Australian Christians Party


If you believe every family should be able to access early learning and care that is high quality, universally accessible and affordable, Join our Smart Start campaign community and support our campaign partners Thrive by Five by signing their petition and getting involved!