In this submission, we provide thirteen recommendations to contribute to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC). 

  1. The Front Project recommends a system stewardship approach be embedded across the ECEC system. This would require the Government taking a lead in facilitating the careful establishment.
  2. The Front Project recommends that the Australian Government create a market stewardship role.
  3. The Front Project recommends that the Productivity Commission consider opportunities for creating the conditions for a more integrated and cohesive system.
  4. The Front Project recommends utilising a range of funding models to ensure those who experience adverse childhood experiences are able to access financial support to ensure their child can access and participate in early learning.
  5. The Front Project recommends the creation of a National Regional and Remote Early Childhood Strategy to provide a cohesive, national approach to ECEC in non-metropolitan areas, and a framework to ensure no child, family or community is left behind without accessible high-quality ECEC.
  6. The Front Project recommends the Australian government adopt a universal 90 per cent subsidy to support all children to participate in ECEC.
  7. The Front Project recommends ensuring equity in access and participation to achieve high participation rates, particularly in regional and rural areas and for children from areas of disadvantage.
  8. The Front Projects recommends the Child Care Subsidy Activity Test is removed or revised to make sure no child misses out on ECEC, regardless of their parents’ or guardians’ working circumstances.
  9. The Front Project recommends creating the conditions for the ECEC system to prioritise the wellbeing of all children, recognise and value First Nations ways of knowing, learning, being and doing and amplify First Nation family and community voices as partners in policy and program design and delivery.
  10. The Front Project recommends the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments develop a strategic approach to data collection, information sharing and transparency across the Early Years system and its many domains.
  11. Better support inclusion by utilising data from the current priority areas model to drive targeted funding into areas where we know the most developmentally vulnerable children are.
  12. The Front Project recommends taking a system stewardship approach to improve workforce value and conditions through several means.
  13. The ECEC funding model should be determined by the extent to which it supports equity for children and families.