Submission to NSW IPART Review on ECEC Affordability, Accessibility and Consumer Choice

The previous NSW Government tasked the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) to conduct a Review into the state's early childhood education and care with the particular lenses of affordability, accessibility and consumer choice.

Given there is a newly elected NSW Labor Government, ACA NSW has assembled its submission to the NSW IPART Review primarily in terms of the factors that contribute against those objectives.

New South Wales' perspectives and examples outlined in ACA NSW's submission include:

  • inadequate assessment of the actual costs when developing the National Quality Framework, their regulations and practices and subsequent changes;
  • the Guides to the NQF & NQS increasing from 226 pages in 2011 to 849 pages by 2023;
  • the increasing percentages of services achieving Meeting rating, yet decreasing percentages of services achieving Exceeding the NQS or Excellent ratings;
  • the prediction of skilled labour shortages (November 2019) before the COVID pandemic and recently ACECQA's public survey on staffing and qualifications (May 2023);
  • the absence of harmony between the Quality Ratings and the Australian Early Development Census (AEDC);
  • the absence of consensus and of preschool children's outcomes and measures;
  • the 365% increase in breaches from 3,787 in 2016/2017 to 17,616 in 2020/2021 yet low numbers of prosecutions;
  • the "educational outcomes of children in NSW are not any better than comparable states";
  • the "costs of the stricter regulatory requirements likely exceed the benefits";
  • the "cost of NSW maintaining requirements above the national standards equates to around $3,000 a year for each child attending ECEC";
  • the continuation of childcare oversupply despite year-on-year supply increases of up to 6.8% especially when contrasted against NSW's population growths and births registered; and 
  • a need for a level-playing field across all services.

Should you need more information/clarification, please contact the ACA NSW team via 1300 556 330 or