2023-2024 Federal Budget has brought significant changes to
the childcare sector, aimed at providing greater support to
families and the early childhood education and care
workforce. The changes include adjustments to the childcare
subsidy, combining parental leave and dad and partner pay,
and increased funding for the skills development of early
confusing, more concise approach was certainly necessary.
Child Care Subsidy (CCS) Changes - Helping Families
One of the
major changes in the budget is the
revision of the childcare subsidy. This was
announced in the 'Responsible
budget' of October 2022 and raised again as a highlight
in the 2023-2024 budget statement.
government has announced an increase in the maximum subsidy
rate, which will benefit families with multiple children in
care. Families with a
combined income of up to $189,390 will receive a maximum
subsidy rate of 90% of their childcare costs, up from 85% in
the current system.
come as a relief to many parents who have struggled to
afford childcare, particularly those on lower incomes.
subsidy rate will decrease gradually for families with a
combined income over $189,390, but they will still receive a
considerable amount of financial assistance.
government has also removed the annual cap on the subsidy,
which previously limited the amount of assistance families
could receive each year. This has been designed to benefit
families with higher early education costs and those who use
childcare services for longer periods of time.
Combining Parental Leave and Dad and Partner Pay
considerable change is the combining of parental leave and
dad and partner pay into a single payment, called the
Parental Leave Pay. This new payment will provide up to 26
weeks of leave at the national minimum wage, which currently
sits at $772.60 gross per week. The payment will be
available to both parents, who can choose to share the leave
between them or take it separately.
provide more flexibility for families, allowing them to
choose how they share care. It also aims to encourage more
fathers to take parental leave, traditionally taken by
Increased Skills Support of the ECEC Workforce
Jim Chalmers also announced that the budget will provide
increased support for the early childhood education and care
(ECEC) workforce. He announced a $1.6 billion investment
into the sector, which includes funding for professional
development and training programs for educators.
investment, the government hopes to improve the quality of
early childhood education and care, which we know is
critical for children's development. By supporting the
professional development of educators, the government hopes
to attract and retain high-quality staff in the sector and
promote better outcomes for children.
A win for
a sector crippled by workforce shortages.
funding will also support the implementation of the
government's updated Quality Early Learning Framework, which
aims to improve the consistency and quality of early
childhood education and care across Australia.
Ministers endorsed the framework in December 2022 after an
extensive consultation process stating that,
"Throughout 2023, providers, services and educators can
familiarise themselves with updated frameworks and begin
incorporating them into program and practice. They will
become mandatory in early 2024."
changes to childcare in the federal budget 2023-2024 aim to
provide greater support to families and the early childhood
education and care workforce.