Release type: Joint Media Release


Making childcare more accessible for Indigenous families


The Hon Jason Clare MP
Minister for Education
The Hon Linda Burney MP
Minister for Indigenous Australians
The Hon Dr Anne Aly MP
Minister for Early Childhood Education
Minister for Youth

The Albanese Government will this week introduce reforms to help get more Indigenous children into early education.

As part of the Government’s Plan for Cheaper Child Care, all Indigenous children will be able to access 36 hours of subsidised childcare a fortnight from July 2023.

At the moment only 4.3 per cent of children in early education and care identify as Indigenous despite being 6.1 per cent of the population of children aged 0-5 years.

We know access to high quality early education and care can impact a child’s readiness for school.

For the first time the Closing the Gap target for school readiness went backwards in 2021. We need to turn this around.

The Government will also invest $10.2 million to establish the Early Childhood Care and Development Policy Partnership between the Australian and State and Territory Governments and Indigenous representatives.

The partnership will be co-chaired by SNAICC – National Voice for our Children and help drive the development of community-led policies and programs that Indigenous families need for their children to thrive.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education Jason Clare:

For the first time, the Closing the Gap report said the school-readiness of Indigenous children has gone backwards.

We have got to turn this around and a big part of that is getting rid of the roadblocks stopping them from going to early childhood education and care.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Indigenous Australians Linda Burney:

Getting Indigenous children into early education will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

This is a practical measure directed to closing the gap in an area where we are going backwards.

It will make a difference to Indigenous children across the country.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Education Anne Aly:

These simple changes will benefit around 6,600 First Nations families, boosting the hours Indigenous children are eligible for subsidised care from up to 24 hours a fortnight to 36 hours.

Not only do the changes help ease cost of living pressures, they provide even more opportunities for First Nations children to access the development, education and health benefits of early childhood education and care helping ensure they are school-ready. 

It’s essential all governments work together and in partnership with First Nation people if we’re to Close the Gap and improve outcomes in early childhood education.