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Childcare and early childhood learning

Public inquiry

This inquiry has concluded. The final report was sent to Government on 31 October 2014 and released on 20 February 2015.

  • Issues paper 5 Dec 2013
  • Draft report 22 Jul 2014
  • Final report 20 Feb 2015

The issues paper was released on 5 December 2013 and was intended to assist you in preparing a submission. It covered a range of issues on which the Commission sought information and feedback.

Examine the issues paper

Please note: The draft report is for research purposes only. For final outcomes of this inquiry refer to the inquiry report.

View the draft report

The final report was released on 20 February 2015. It looks at where we are now with Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) in Australia, what we want in the future and how we might go about achieving that in a way that better supports children's learning and development needs and the workforce participation of parents.

Read the inquiry report

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.