On 11 October 2016, the Senate established the Select Committee on Red Tape (the Committee) to inquire into and report on the effect of restrictions and prohibitions on business (red tape) on a number of sectors in the economy and community, including child care.
Members will recall that FDCA, on behalf of and informed by our members, made a formal submission into the Red Tape Committee’s inquiry into the effect of red tape on the child care sector, and appeared as witnesses at the public hearing on 12 June 2018.
As a result of FDCA’s advocacy efforts, the Committee made a clear recommendation that:
"The committee recommends the Australian Government, through the Council of Australian Governments, expeditiously work toward reducing the regulatory burden in the Family Day Care sector, including by removing limits on the number of educators in each service." (Recommendation 1)
On 3 December 2018, the Red Tape Committee released its final report. The final report focuses primarily on the broader policy and process to limit and reduce red tape. However, it confirms that the recommendations from the sector-specific interim reports still stand.
In addition, it makes the overall comment that:
"2.80 For this inquiry, the committee found a high level of in principle support for regulation in the childcare sector, but not necessarily for the volume and breadth of regulation. The committee agreed that wherever possible red tape should be identified and eliminated, especially as the recently introduced Child Care Subsidy scheme matures......”
The final report includes the Australian Government’s response to sector specific recommendations. With regard to reducing red tape in the family day care sector, the Government makes an in-principle commitment to continuing to work with state and territory governments and ACECQA as appropriate to ‘look for efficient ways to implement elements of the NQF’. The Australian Government also ‘notes the need to continuously gather evidence and collect data to inform policy setting and government decision making’.