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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The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) commends the Labor Party on their recent announcement to extend access to 15 hours per week of subsidised kindergarten/preschool to three-year-olds for the first time, if Bill Shorten wins the next federal election.

Mr Shorten has committed to giving both three and four-year-olds access to 600 hours of preschool or kindergarten in a $1.75bn funding commitment.

“Under the existing system, four-year-old children already have access to universal early childhood education but the existing program is funded year-by-year, with no commitment currently beyond 2019.” ACA President Paul Mondo said.

“ACA has always implored the Australian Government and all political parties to put the concept of universally accessible Early Childhood Education and Care for all children at the forefront in any policy development, respecting the parents’ choice of service type.” Mr Mondo said.

“We have previously recommended extending kindergarten/preschool funding to three and four year old children, given the overwhelming evidence from studies in Australia and internationally demonstrating the significant benefits children experience from attending quality early learning services, which in turn flows on to their family and the wider community.” 

These benefits include better intellectual development and higher levels of concentration, sociability and independence.

Children who enjoy quality early learning services are likely to be well socialised, confident, inquisitive about the world, accepting of diversity, resilient to manage challenges and also to be life-long learners.

“It is clear that the Labor Party has listened to our recommendations along with feedback from the broader sector about the importance of quality, play-based Early Childhood Education in giving children the best possible start in life.” Mr Mondo said.

“In the event that the Labor Party wins the next federal election, this planned policy would be a great outcome for Australian families, and in particular for those families and children from disadvantaged and vulnerable backgrounds, who will no longer slip through the cracks and miss out on this important stage of early learning.”

“Should the Labor Party come into power at the next federal election, ACA is keen to contribute to ongoing discussions, to ensure effective implementation which results in equitable distribution to all service types, respecting parent choice. We also call on all state governments to recognise that quality early learning can be delivered in a range of service types.” 

 “ACA will continue to engage with the Labor Party to understand this proposal, with a view to ensuring that this proposed funding model would support the delivery of early learning services in an appropriate play-based environment that fosters experiential learning, and also recognises the significant contribution of long day care in Australia’s early education environment.” Mr Mondo concluded.