The Australian Government asked the Productivity Commission to undertake a public inquiry into future options for childcare and early childhood learning, with a focus on developing a system that supports workforce participation and addresses children’s learning and development needs.
The Commission has been asked to specifically report and make recommendations on:
the contribution of childcare to workforce participation and child development
current and future need for childcare in Australia, particularly given changes in work patterns, early learning needs, childcare affordability and government assistance
the capacity of the childcare system to ensure a satisfactory transition to schools, in particular for vulnerable or at risk children
alternative models of care, including those overseas, which could be considered for trial in Australia
options – within existing funding parameters – for improving the accessibility, flexibility and affordability of childcare for families with diverse circumstances
the impacts of regulatory changes, including the implementation of the National Quality Framework, on the childcare sector over the past decade.