About us

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia’s children.

ACA works on behalf of long day care service owners and operators, as a reputable source of evidence-based advice to policy makers and a trusted source of practical guidance to service operators.

We represent more than 2,500 members and approximately 360,000 families throughout Australia.

ACA has existed in various forms for more than 30 years. Our experience means that we understand the critical role a quality early learning program plays in the life of families and the importance of a viable long day care sector in preparing children for the best start in life and learning.

We work with Federal and State Governments, regulatory authorities and other stakeholders to ensure that families are supported into the future with a sustainable, affordable and viable sector.

The future of Australia’s early learning sector

The impact of COVID-19 has had a profound impact on Australia’s health system, community and economy, with Australia’s early learning services quickly recognised as an essential service.

Whilst the first few months of 2020 proved extremely difficult for the early learning sector, ACA was deeply heartened to be able to work closely with the Australian Government in developing economic solutions that effectively saved the sector from imminent collapse.

With the support of a new short-term funding model, throughout the year of 2020 the Early Childhood Education & Care (ECEC) sector continued to provide a safe haven for Australia’s many children and families who relied on our services.

We commend the Australian Government for its swift response on the back of close consultation with key stakeholders, to support our sector through what can only be described as one of the most difficult periods in its history.

We are now turning our attention to the future, to ensure a long-term recovery for not just the early learning sector but also the wider economic community, which directly impacts Australian families.

Treasury has stated that this once-in-a-century shock requires an unprecedented level of support across the economy, with the impacts of COVID-19 expected to be felt in the Australian economy for years to come. Australia’s economic recovery plan will focus on creating jobs, increasing economic resilience and creating a more competitive and income-generating economy.

This pandemic has pulled the curtain back on just how critical the ECEC sector is in supporting our economy and allowing all working parents – emergency and healthcare workers amongst them – to continue in the workforce and contribute to the recovery and growth of our economy.

Meanwhile the benefits of high-quality Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) are well recognised and acknowledged locally and globally across the education sector, in the context of an abundance of evidence from studies in Australia and internationally, demonstrating the significant advantages children gain from attending quality early learning services.

Children who enjoy quality early learning are likely to be well socialised, confident, inquisitive about the world, accepting of diversity, resilient to manage challenges and also to be life-long learners.

These benefits flow on to our families, the wider community and the Australian economy.

Affordable access to early learning services is a huge priority for all Australian families with young children, as well as those planning to have children.

As the sector continues to grow in size, its benefit to young children as well as to future prospects of the Australian economy are increasingly being recognised, both by government and the general community.

ACA engages with all sides of politics to explain our position on the level of support required by the Federal Government, in order to achieve our vision – a future where every child in Australia has access to high quality, affordable and sustainable early learning services.

We are urging all parties to support a revision of the Child Care Subsidy parameters to address the need for more affordable early learning for all Australian families, including:

  • Increasing the CCS to 95% of the hourly cap rate for households earning up to $80,000. It would then taper down (by 1% for every additional $4,000 of family income) until a floor of 30% subsidy.
  • Amending the CCS activity test to support all Australian children, allowing all families access to at least 18 hours a week of subsidised high quality, affordable early learning services.
  • Removing CCS annual cap permanently for those families affected by it.
  • Allowing for more flexibility for ACCS (child wellbeing) to reduce the burden of providing evidence for vulnerable families.

As the sector continues to grow in size, its benefit to young children as well as to future prospects of the Australian economy are increasingly being recognised, both by government and the general community.

The health and developmental benefits of early learning to Australia’s young children are now needed more than ever, and the long-term benefit to our economy is exactly what policy makers need to focus on.

We strongly encourage you, our early learning sector stakeholders, including our members and non-members in the long day care sector, to engage with government and make sure your voice is heard.

The resources on this website are designed to help our stakeholders to engage with their local political candidates, starting from how to approach them, to what to say.

ACA believes that with the right policy and financial frameworks in place, Australia could be a world leader in the delivery of high quality ECEC within 10 years.

We welcome the opportunity to contribute to the policy considerations for all parties, and we urge our stakeholders to do the same, in the context of ensuring that every child in Australia has access to high quality, affordable and sustainable early learning services, and therefore the best start in life.

Paul Mondo
ACA President