August 2023 News

In the Media Latest News Media | Aug 14, 2023
The recent Federal budget delivered cost of living relief for families including with the cost of Early Learning. These changes came into effect in July and have already made a difference for many families. We especially applaud the changes to the activity test for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. We would love to see this extended to other children who may be vulnerable.
It has never been a more exciting time in early learning in Australia, currently there are a number of reviews taking place that are focusing on Early learning.
The Productivity Commission Inquiry into universal access, the ACCC price inquiry and the National  Early Years Strategy review are all well underway and we are hoping for some big reforms to come from them.

At the same time there are major reforms and reviews happening in multiple States and Territories:
  • Victoria is implementing major reforms moving towards provision of universal 30 hours of preschool for all children by 2030 and exploring access to include 3yr olds.
  • New South Wales is also moving toward provision of universal 30 hours of preschool for all children by 2030. NSW IPART review of ECEC is reviewing early childhood education and care in NSW.
  • Australian Capital Territory is taking the first steps towards universal quality early childhood education for three year-old children in the ACT.
  • Queensland are working through the complexities of a free Kindy offering for all eligible children from January 1, 2024.
  • South Australia’s Royal Commission is well underway having released its Interim Report earlier this year.
  • The Northern Territory Government has announced its Preschool Review.
  • Tasmania has announced a trial initiative for Early Learning for Three Year olds will start out on the west coast with further community engagment and research to expand the initiative into other areas of the state.

The early childhood sector is being impacted by a severe workforce crisis, with over 20,000 vacancies and many centres capping enrolments because they can’t find enough staff. 
The sector is calling on the Federal Government to fund a wage rise for early childhood educators to bring their wages up to comparable jobs in schools.  

There is a lot happening around the country, make sure you get involved to help shape the policy for our youngest Australians!

~ The Smart Start Team ~

P.S Do you know someone who wants to help support early learning, forward this email on, invite them to join our campaign, or share our Facebook page.