2023–24 Pre-Budget Submission

The Front Project’s Pre Budget Submission states our views and recommendations around early childhood education and care (ECEC) for the Federal Government to prioritise in the 2023–24 Federal Budget. 

The 2023-24 Budget is an opportunity address the challenges in the ECEC sector and to take advantage of the great strides made in ECEC policy over the last 12 months. This budget must work to ensure no child, family or community misses out on the advantages of a high-quality, accessible and affordable ECEC system.
In this submission, we make six recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: 

Invest 15.5M over 10 years to scale-up the Front Project’s Upskill Program and support an additional 3289 students into a career as an early childhood teacher (ECT), alongside fully funding the initiatives in the National ECEC Workforce Strategy –Implementation Plan.

Recommendation 2:

Invest in an interim 15 per cent Commonwealth funded wage supplement for ECEC educators and early childhood teachers (ECTs) and consider actions to support ongoing wage growth to boost attraction, retention and sustainable growth in the ECEC workforce.

Recommendation 3:

Revise or remove the CCS activity test to make sure no child misses out on ECEC, regardless of their parents’ working circumstances

Recommendation 4:

Build on the Family Assistance Legislation Amendment (Cheaper Child Care) Bill 2022 by expanding the Additional Child Care Subsidy (ACCS), working with communities to encourage more families to access the help they need to access ECEC and consider changes to Child Wellbeing determinations.

Recommendation 5: 

Explore a system stewardship approach to governance for the ECEC system and review funding and investment mechanisms to assess the affordability of assessing ECEC to ensure equity for all families and children.

Recommendation 6: 

Expand the Commonwealth funding within the Preschool Reform Agreement to support planning and readiness in all jurisdictions to progressively deliver universal three-year old preschool nationwide.