Statement on Productivity Commission Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning

Media Release
  • Assistant Minister for Education

I welcome the Productivity Commission’s completion of their Inquiry into Child Care and Early Childhood Learning, with the final report delivered to Government.

The Abbott Government tasked this Inquiry as one of our first priorities upon taking office late last year in line with our commitment to make child care more affordable, flexible and accessible for Australian families.

This has been the largest review of the child care system since the 1990s and I thank the Productivity Commission for their hard work and dedication over the past 12 months.

I would also like to thank the thousands of Australians who embraced this once-in-a-generation opportunity to work together to build a better child care system for Australian families, with 2081 submissions and comments in total.

What this process has overwhelmingly confirmed is that Australian families are struggling as a direct result of child care fees increasing 53 per cent under Labor’s watch and want change.

Access to affordable child care is considered the biggest barrier to workforce participation for women, which in turn impacts on everything from the household budget to the national economy.

We are determined to fix that. Australia needs a modern child care system that supports today’s 24/7 economy, not the 9-to-5 working week of last century.

Australian families should be able to plan child care around their work life, not their work life around child care.

However, to achieve this we need real, sustainable reform. Labor’s legacy of endless band-aid solutions and blindly topping up child care payments on the nation’s credit card cannot continue.

As such, the Government will now carefully and methodically consider the Productivity Commission’s final recommendations and we will respond in due course.

The report will be publicly tabled within the required 25 Parliamentary sitting days.

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