Confusing messages from NSW Government pre-Budget on 21 June 2022

ACA NSW members would have no doubt read in the Daily Telegraph or heard about NSW vouchers for parents to pay for childcare and also the NSW Government exploring the construction of new centres via local councils and non-profits in "childcare deserts" costing the NSW Government apparently $800m per year.

These are now circulating in advance of the NSW Treasurer's budget for 2022-2023 on Tuesday, 21 June 2022.

Logical questions that arise include:

  • Will these vouchers be available to all parents to use for any early childhood education and care services, or will there be restrictions?
  • How will the NSW Government define “childcare deserts” and where will these areas be?
  • How will these new services in “childcare deserts” recruit and employ skilled labour without negatively impacting on other existing services’ existing labour forces, and also creating inflationary pressure on employment costs?

ACA NSW has been assured by the Office of the NSW Treasurer that "the article in the Sunday Telegraph was not an announcement of Government policy. We will reach out to you [ACA NSW] shortly to offer a briefing in advance of the announcement of the Government’s policies, prior to the release of the budget".

On behalf of members and the sector, ACA NSW is concerned with these latest public messages when 27 questions and 21 questions posed to the NSW Government about their two other announcements remain unanswered.

ACA NSW will continue to keep engaging with the NSW Government and will update members as soon as relevant information and clarification are available.