Inquiry into Early Education and Care Draft Report: Submission to the Productivity Commission



The Centre for Policy Development made a submission to the Productivity Commission that provides feedback regarding its draft report on the Inquiry into Early Education and Care. 

The submission commends the Commission’s detailed draft report, particularly the strong focus on children’s development and early learning as the primary purpose of early childhood education and care (ECEC), and the commitment to a 3-day universal entitlement for all young children and families.

However, the submission states, the draft report shies away from the transformative systems change that is needed to develop a high-quality, truly universal system that supports all of Australia’s children and families to thrive, and delivers on the primary purpose of child development.


Download the submission

A truly universal early childhood system, one that is accessible, affordable, equitable and high quality is the most significant reform the government can implement to build a stronger economy, more productive workforce, and a brighter future for all Australians.

CPD’s submission makes detailed recommendations about what should be included in the final report in order to deliver on this bold ambition.

What does the paper recommend?

The submission proposes a number of key recommendations for the Productivity Commission to explore in its final report in order to present the most effective set of solutions to achieve the government’s bold ambitions:

  • outline a unifying, long-term vision for the ECEC system and steps for how to get there; 
  • make recommendations on price regulation; 
  • include quality as an explicit feature/design principle of the ECEC system; 
  • outline a transition away from the Child Care Subsidy over time to a child-centred, supply-side funding model;
  • make recommendations on investment to address gaps in service for unserved and underserved communities; and
  • outline a plan for additional workforce support.

What are the benefits of a universal system?

Reforming Australia’s childcare system is one of the most impactful things we can do to secure the future of our country, our economy and our workforce. This is our chance to get it right.

With a universal system:

  • Children will be provided with a well funded, high quality ECEC system that supports them to thrive. They will not need to change services to receive preschool education. Children and families experiencing disadvantage and vulnerability will receive more access to higher quality services, funded adequately based on their needs. 
  • Providers who provide a service for children experiencing disadvantage or children with disabilities will receive additional funding to meet the needs of these children and be better able to support them to thrive. 
  • Families will have a more affordable and easy system to navigate. Families in unserved and underserved markets (for example in remote communities) will have better access due to changed funding approach and government investment in new services. 
  • Governments will receive a strong return on investment through improved outcomes for children and families, with major immediate- and long-term social and economic benefits to Australia.