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Free Kinder will be available for both 3 and 4-year-old kindergarten programs from 2023. All early childhood education and care providers that deliver a funded kindergarten program in Victoria are eligible to receive Free Kinder funding from 2023, subject to meeting specified terms and conditions.

Early childhood educators are represented by the United Workers Union (Union), which has called for a strike on September 7 in protest of the wages and working conditions in the industry.

Hundreds of early childhood union members voted to take national action, shut down the early learning sector and take to the streets on Early Childhood Educators Day on September 7.

The NSW Government will spend $281.6 million over the course of four years on a set of initiatives designed to increase the number of employees working in the early childhood education and care industry, keep on board current teachers and educators, and give current employees more opportunities to advance their careers.

The Budget has allocated to the early childhood industry a sizable $15.9 billion, which will be spent over a ten-year period, with initiatives announced in the 2022-23 Budget. This is being divided into two categories: those with a four-year period and those with a ten-year period.

With the Labor Party winning the 2022 Federal Election, the early childhood and care (ECEC) sector in Australia looks poised for a shot in the arm, as much in terms of aid and restructuring as affordability for families. ECEC was a central element of Mr Albanese’s policy agenda in the run-up to the election and will remain central to overall policy within the portfolio of Amanda Rishworth MP, the longtime Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development. The following article details the newly-elected government’s proposed policies for the ECEC sector and what impact they may have in the short, medium and long term. 

The way early childhood education and care is provisioned by the government at local, state and national levels deeply impacts society. Issues range from sector-specific matters like childcare regulations, subsidies and fees to wider dynamics of social equity, workforce participation, children’s development, gender equality and response to global crises like COVID 19 pandemic. In the lead up to the Federal Election on 21 May 2022, here is a breakdown of the position of three major political parties – the Liberal/National Coalition, the Australian Labor Party and The Greens - on policy decisions crucial to early childhood care and education sector.

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