Thursday, 03 February 2022
The Productivity Commission’s Report on Government Services 2022 highlights why families and educators need a real plan from Scott Morrison when it comes to early learning.
The report paints a concerning picture of quality in the early learning sector, with 16,449 serious incidents reported – an increase of 26 per cent in one year.
According to the latest data, 11 per cent of early learning centres hold a staffing waiver – meaning they are exempt from meeting the required number of qualified staff.
As has been shown in today’s report, Australian children are at serious risk due to chronic workforce shortages.
We are now seeing the devastating impact of the Morrison-Joyce Government’s neglect of the early education workforce.
There has been a chronic shortage of early educators for some time, which only worsened during the pandemic with a mass exodus from the sector.
There are concerns the shortage will have worsened during the Omicron wave, when early educators have been put under increased mental stress and hardship.
For too long the Morrison Government has ignored this critical issue. Labor continues to implore Scott Morrison to develop a plan for the sector, to ensure there are enough educators in every early learning service.
The report also highlights the impact of out of control child care costs, revealing 72,600 parents are not in the labour force due to the cost of child care.
This shows yet again that the soaring cost of child care under Scott Morrison is preventing parents from working the hours they want and need.
It is reported that the median weekly cost of child care has increased by 10.6 per cent in three years alone.
Yet, there is nothing in Scott Morrison’s child care changes to stop soaring fees.
By contrast, an Albanese Labor Government will make child care cheaper for 97 per cent of families in the system, regardless of how many children a family has in care.
Importantly, Labor will also task the ACCC with designing a price regulation mechanism to shed light on costs and fees, and drive them down for good.
Only Labor will bring down the cost of child care and keep it down.