The Albanese Government handed down its first federal budget last night. In relation to early childhood education and care (ECEC), the main focus was on improving affordability, accessibility and payment integrity, as announced in their pre-election policies.
Key elements most relevant to the family day care sector include:
- Cheaper Child Care : The Government is investing $4.7 billion over 4 years from 2022-23 to make early childhood education and care more affordable by increasing Child Care Subsidy rates to 90% for eligible families by July 2023. This was an election promise that will see Child Care Subsidy rates lift from 85 per cent to 90 per cent for families earning less than $80,000. This initiative takes effect from July 2023.
- Targeted support for more First Nations children: The Government is investing $33.7 million over 4 years from 2022–23 to provide families with First Nations children access to a minimum entitlement of 36 hours per fortnight of subsidised early childhood education and care from July 2023.
- National Early Learning Strategy: As already announced, the Government will work with the states and territories to develop a long-term vision for early childhood education and care as a national priority. This will include looking at more ways to support parental workforce participation, particularly for women, and to deliver improved early learning and child development outcomes. There will also be a focus on workforce shortage issues.
- Inquiry into the cost of child care: The Government has tasked the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to undertake a 12 month inquiry into this issue.
- Strengthening payment integrity and compliance: The Government is investing $47.7 million over four years from 2022–23 support a range of activities to help reduce fraud and non-compliance, such as ‘helping ECEC providers to better understand their regulatory obligations and commencing work on a digital attendance validation solution to provide real time validation and reporting of child attendance at care’. Additional measures to improve payment integrity and accuracy will also be introduced.
Other related measures the Government has committed to are:
- investing $1 billion in an agreement with the states and territories to provide 180,000 fee free places in 2023, in areas of high skill shortages, which may assist in addressing workforce supply issues in the ECEC sector; and
- measures to improve the transparency of the child care sector by requiring large providers to publicly report CCS-related revenue and profits.
Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) will continue to engage with the Government on these measures in order to ensure the family day care perspective is appropriately considered and that there are no significant adverse and/or unintended consequences on the sector, particularly in relation to the payment integrity measures.
Emergency update for flood affected regions in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania
The Department of Education has extended the period of emergency in place for flood affected regions in New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania, until 1 November 2022.
They have also declared a period of emergency in the following Local Government Areas in NSW, from 20 October to 1 November:
- Albury City, Berrigan Shire, Carrathool Shire, Cobar Shire, Federation Council, Griffith City, Hay Shire, Leeton Shire, Murray River Council, Murrumbidgee Council, Narrandera Shire, Wagga Wagga City.
For more information on available support for your region, click here.
Happy Diwali for 2022!
Diwali, also known as Divali, gets its name from the Sanskrit word Deepavali, which means "row of lights".
The lights are symbolic in warding off evil spirits and overcoming darkness, with Diwali being a time for faith, food, fireworks, family and charity to be honoured across five days of celebration.
The event began on Saturday, October 22 and ends today, on Wednesday October 26.
To all of our members, their families and their communities, we wish you a Happy Diwali and a prosperous year ahead!
FDCA Member Zone - Your one-stop shop for all things family day care
Available exclusively to FDCA Members, the FDCA Member Zone is your hub for family day care tools, resources and content, designed to assist in the day to day running of your business and support your long term career goals.
What’s inside the FDCA Member Zone?
Through your FDCA Member Zone, you’ll have access to:
- The “My Family” Day Care E-Book;
- your Family Day Care Locator listing;
- the Market My Business Hub, where you can access free, high quality and customisable marketing resources to help advertise your family day care;
- insurance documentation;
- a wide range of resources and factsheets, including the Short Guide to Early Childhood Pedagogy and the Critical Reflection in Practice Guide;
- the latest issues of JiGSAW Magazine; and
- The FDCA Learning Hub, housing over 27 online courses to enhance your professional practice.
Click the link to access the FDCA Member Zone.
If you haven’t registered your online account yet, this is your sign to start!
To activate your account, simply visit our website and follow the instructions.
Stay up to date with sector news, events and initiatives on the FDCA Facebook page
The FDCA Facebook page is your one-stop shop for sector news and media updates, along with information on important events and the latest initiatives for our members.
Make sure to like and follow the page for your weekly dose of all things family day care.
We’ve recently hit over 40 thousand followers, giving us even more opportunities to promote the fantastic work that comes out of our sector.
Our Facebook page is also another way to connect with the team here at FDCA. Share your recent activities with us or send us a question, we’d love to hear from you!