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The Pre-Election Forum was a powerful event that showcased views and opinions crucial to the future of the education and care sector 

On Tuesday 5 April, Community Early Learning Australia (CELA), Community Child Care Association (CCC), and Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA) came together to host an Education and Care Pre-Election Forum and share our 6 Point Plan for the future of the sector.  

CELA, ELAA and CCC thank everyone who attended including the many members from both large and small services, bureaucrats from all levels of government, academics, consultants, advocates, and media representatives.

The broad spectrum of attendees shows just how important education and care is and the vital role it will play ahead of the election.

Missed the forum? View it now:

At the forum, we heard from:

Hon. Amanda Rishworth MP

Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education and Development, Australian Labor Party

Senator Mehreen Faruqi

Senator for NSW, Australian Greens

Hon. Stuart Robert MP

Note: Acting Minister for Education and Youth, Minister Stuart Robert was invited but was unavailable to attend. He provided a briefing which was included in the presentation.

What our guests had to say: 

Via his statement, Acting Minister for Education and Youth, the Honourable Stuart Robert reflected on what the Morrison government has delivered to improve access and inclusion, quality, and affordability, and ongoing preschool funding through the Preschool Reform Agreement. He also highlighted the prioritisation of funding for the early years through Closing the Gap, and how the government has expanded access to the Community Child Care Fund.   

He committed to boosting the number of educators in the workforce through the $2 billion Job Trainer program and $2.4 billion Apprenticeship Incentive Scheme, with early education professionals to be put on the priority list, and to reduce childcare costs to middle and low-income earners for their second and third children.

Shadow Minister Amanda Rishworth and Senator Marheen Faruqi highlighted the vital role played by the sector during COVID-19, and how education and care are now being viewed as essential.   

In addition to committing to initiating real change and affirming children's right to quality early education, both speakers committed to supporting measures designed to support women to remain in the workforce.  

Amanda Rishworth spoke specifically about making education and care more affordable for families, and introducing mechanisms to ensure government funding is directed to families, children, and quality. She spoke passionately about the need for an early years strategy to provide holistic support to children and families. 

Mehreen Faruqi highligthed the need for a radical shift to ensure all families have access to 24 hours of free education per week, and a commitment to the community and not-for-profit sector. She strongly supported the need to pay educators appropriately. 

The forum was an opportunity to ask our politicians:  

  • How they plan to address chronic workforce shortages in education and care 
  • How they will ensure that all children will have access to high quality early education and care


Participants asked a range of questions of the politicians and participated in Zoom polls, emphasising the importance of education and care, as well as our joint six-point plan, in bringing about real change for children, families and the economy. 

Pre-Election forum hosts:

Julie Price

Executive Director, Community Child Care Association

Michele Carnegie

Chief Executive Officer, Community Early Learning Australia

David Worland

Chief Executive Officer, Early Learning Association Australia

Have your say

The election hasn’t been called yet, but we know it’s coming. Now is the time to shine a light on our sector and push for the changes we need.  We will be communicating with you over coming weeks to seek your assistance to keep the momentum going. 

In the meantime, view the recording here

Read our 6 Point Plan for Education and Care

We have already started put a plan together outlining what we think needs to change in early education and care. See if you agree with our suggestions. 

Download 6 Point Plan (pdf)






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