Growing disparity in ECE funding hard to understand
The gaps between ECE provider funding are only growing, despite recent government investment in the sector.
Funding for the government’s 20 hours a week childcare subsidy ranges from almost $14.50 an hour for kindergartens to just under $6.50 an hour for Playcentre, a difference of eight dollars.
Kindergartens will receive an almost $2 an hour funding increase between January 2019 and July 2021, while community and privately-owned centres’ funding is almost static.
This is despite teachers and providers doing the same job, needing the same qualifications, and working to the same regulations. In some cases, they are even the same teachers, working part time for different services.
“Where we’re at now is a result of uneven planning and investment that’s built up over many years. This inequality is unfair,” said Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds.
“It’s confusing for parents and confusing for providers. We can’t understand why the hourly rates are so different, but we fear for the quality of education and sustainability for some if it’s allowed to continue.”
This graph shows the uneven investment in 20 Hours ECE subsidies, and why addressing the overall funding picture is needed urgently to create a model that’s simple and fair.
“The best way to achieve transparency and fairness is finally completing the full review of ECE funding that was started but never finished,” said Mr Reynolds.