NSW's draft methodology for determining over/undersupply

For many years, members (and the sector) would be very aware of ACA NSW's concerns and advocacies about oversupply of early childhood education and care (ECEC) services in many parts of NSW.

In addition to the media confirming that oversupply of services have led to increases in fees, the recent ACCC Interim Report (dated 5 July 2023) also confirmed fee increases by up to 40% when oversupply of ECEC services occur.

The then NSW Coalition Government and now the NSW Labor Government plan to use $5.8b to assist in creating new ECEC services in areas of undersupply.

Notwithstanding the focus was on their new 100 preschools on school sites and 50 new independent preschools within their first term, even the new NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Education & Early Childhood Learning (the Hon Prue Car MP) on 19 June 2023 attempted to reassure that the NSW Government intends to fulfil this objective [of new supply] but "... to make sure that this happens without cannibalising other services and support services that already exist".

The NSW Parliament had legislated its Childcare and Economic Opportunity Fund Act 2022 whereby the NSW Government has to also produce market monitoring reports at least every 2 years to assess where undersupply exist for their intervention.

The NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) has today released its draft methodology that it is considering recommending to the NSW Government to use to produce such market monitoring reports.

Members can submit feedback directly to the NSW IPART via here, or you can share them with ACA NSW via nsw@childcarealliance.org.au.

And members who wish to discuss the draft methodology with ACA NSW, you can contact the ACA NSW team via 1300 556 330 or nsw@childcarealliance.org.au.