The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia's children.
We work on behalf of long day care owners and operators to ensure families and their children have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning services throughout Australia.


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More political engagement as the federal election approaches

With the federal election now called to take place on Sat 18th May, ACA has been extremely busy engaging with all sides of federal politics during the critical period when Members of Parliament (MPs) and candidates are in full “consultation mode” and keen to address the biggest issues affecting their local electorates.

In the lead up to the election, we gave all Federal Members of Parliament and all Senators the opportunity to visit an ACA member centre in their electorate or state, to show them that long day care provides the ideal environment in the delivery of 3 and 4 year old kindergarten/preschool programs. 


The uptake of these invitations has been extremely impressive in each state, with all sides of politics keen to be seen engaging with the important topic of affordable quality early learning  services for families. We regularly post photos of these engagements to our Facebook page

ACA's Best Start In Life website and Policy Paper: Let’s Give Our Children The Best Start In Life are also gaining wide attention. 


Among the top priority policies, ACA’s recommendations include:

  • An immediate revision of the Child Care Subsidy parameters so that all families qualify for 18 hours per week of subsidised access to early learning services, equivalent to meeting step 1 of the activity test; and

  • The provision of additional funding that supports the long day care sector in delivering preschool/kindergarten programs for 3 and 4 year olds. This includes an extension of the existing Universal Access funding for 4 year olds, with a caveat that it is delivered equitably across all service types including the long day care sector in all states and territories, and the introduction of a new, similar funding arrangement for 3 year olds.

This policy takes advantage of the age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate and culturally inclusive environments and pedagogy that are already established in long day care services, therefore reducing the need for significant capital investment by government. 

ACA is acutely aware that there are no guarantees in politics and the balance of power in the Senate will always be a critical factor in determining which policies and funded programs go ahead. 

At face value the ALP’s commitment to funding both 3 and 4 year old preschool/kindergarten looks promising. However we’re keen to ensure that the long day care sector is seen as capable and ready to deliver this program and be recognised as the primary partner in ensuring access to more children, sooner. 

With our services already delivering programs to over 60% of 3 year olds there is no doubt that with plenty of supply available in many areas around Australia, our sector is well placed to deliver this very important program.

We’re reiterating this message to all parties, while emphasising the importance of affordable early learning services to Australia’s many families with young children.


It is ACA’s goal that whichever party wins the election, the general consensus across the Senate will be to recognise the benefits of early learning and therefore accommodate ACA’s recommendations.

Meanwhile the government’s the Federal Budget 2019 announcement in mid April sparked heated discussions among our sector. Whilst the budget includes funding of $450 million to extend Universal Access for another 12 months beyond 2019, it fell short of a long term commitment. 

Other items include an investment of $4.0 million in 2019-20 for enhancements to the new Child Care Subsidy System (CCSS) and the Inclusion Support Portal, along with funding of $4.9 million over two years from 2019-20 to improve the national preschool data and also an initiative to improve preschool participation rates.

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