Submission: A Path to Universal Early Childhood Education and Care Draft Report

14 February 2024

ISA initially responded to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Early Childhood Education and Care in May 2023 and now offers additional comments following the invitation for submissions on the ‘A path to universal early childhood education and care’ draft report released in November 2023.

The early childhood sector is diverse and complex and although governments are making significant investment, the sector still faces many challenges. Key challenges include equitable access, affordability, inclusion support, adequate funding, workforce shortages and improving developmental outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and children from vulnerable and disadvantaged families. The benefits of the provision of early childhood education and care are many. Prioritising national investment in early childhood education, increasing enrolment rates for three to five-year-olds, and increasing the number of hours of early childhood education provided per week will reduce inequalities in early childhood development.