Australian Greens Education spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has said reports that the Coalition government is considering a boost to childcare funding are welcome, but early learning must be made universal and free.
Senator Faruqi said:
“Any funding boost for early learning is welcome. But let’s be real: the most sensible and equitable move would be to make childcare universal and free.
“Expensive early learning has held women and families back for too long. The benefits of free early learning for families and the whole community is beyond doubt.
“We’re way past the time of tinkering around the edges and procrastinating on real and lasting change. Free and universal early childhood education is the way forward.
“We should be expanding publicly-provided services so families aren’t reliant on for-profit centres. Education is not a business. It’s time early childhood education was funded and provided as the essential service that it is.
“Early childhood educators should receive professional pay, reflecting the skill and responsibility of the work they do every single day.”