The child care rebate is an important part of access to early learning, according to Goodstart Early Learning.
Goodstart CEO Julia Davidson said while affordability was an ongoing challenge for the federal government, those operating in the sector and for some families, it should not impact on the provision of high-quality services.
“The National Quality Reforms have been a significant forward step in raising the quality of early learning, and a critical step in supporting Australia’s goal of being in the top five education systems in the world.
“We know having increased staff-to-child ratios, and qualified staff leading the education and development of our youngest citizens, particularly those most vulnerable, results in better outcomes for children,’’ Davidson said.
She said this was why “the continued implementation of the reforms can no longer be up for debate – quality is critical – it’s how we support access for all children that should lead the discussion”.
Davidson said that even though Goodstart has absorbed some early childhood operating costs, some costs still needed to be passed on to families. This was why it was vital to maintain the child care rebate.
“We would like to see continued implementation of the reforms and a full review of the funding model and level of funding for the sector to ensure all children, irrespective of life circumstances, have the opportunity to participate in high-quality early learning.
“To realise the greatest benefit for children and Australia as a whole we need increased recognition of the early years as an important economic and social investment,” she said.
The federal minister for Early Childhood and Child Care, Kate Ellis, has claimed that the child care rebate could be cut if the Coalition wins office in September. Coalition leader Tony Abbott has pledged to review child care funding.
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