The Australian Government conducts regular evaluations and inquiries to ensure early childhood policies continue to meet the needs of children and families.

On this page:

Child Care Package evaluation

Between 2017 and 2021, the Australian Institute of Family Studies (AIFS) evaluated the Child Care Package.

AIFS collected and analysed a range of information to examine how the package has impacted providers, services and families. This included:

  • surveys of parents, grandparents and guardians
  • surveys of services
  • interviews with providers and key stakeholders
  • administrative data.

AIFS partnered on the evaluation with:

  • the Centre for Social Research and Methods at the Australian National University
  • the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales
  • the Social Research Centre.

Learn more about the evaluation on the AIFS website

Early report

AIFS published the Early Monitoring Report in 2019.

Final report

The Child Care Package Evaluation Final Report is now available on the AIFS website.

The report considers the outcomes and impacts of the package’s key programs, including:

  • Child Care Subsidy
  • Additional Child Care Subsidy
  • Community Child Care Fund
  • Inclusion Support Program
  • In Home Care.

The report compares these programs to previous funding arrangements.

The report includes findings and recommendations related to:

  • access
  • flexibility
  • affordability
  • viability.

External events impacted the evaluation. The report does not include data from 2020 as the Child Care Subsidy was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

Australian Government response

The Australian Government response outlines:

  • a summary of the government’s support and activities since the introduction of the package
  • a response to the recommendations in the final AIFS report
  • an overview of the government’s next steps to strengthen the early childhood education and care system.

Read the Australian Government Response to the Child Care Package Evaluation

Review of preschool arrangements

The Nous Group independently reviewed the Universal Access National Partnership (UANP) for the Australian and state and territory governments. The findings showed an increase in community awareness of the importance of children taking part in a quality preschool program in the year before school.

Read the UANP Review report

Learn more about preschool

Child Care Package audit

In 2019, the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) undertook an audit of the Child Care Package. The audit objective was to assess the effectiveness of the design and governance of the package.

Read the report on the ANAO website

Productivity Commission inquiry

In 2014, the Productivity Commission looked into future options for child care and early childhood learning.

The inquiry examined: 

  • the state of early learning and child care 
  • how to better support children’s learning needs 
  • how to better support parents’ workforce participation. 

The Productivity Commission received 908 submissions and 1173 online comments.

The Productivity Commission report was released in 2015.

The Jobs for Families Child Care Package was released in response to the report as part of the 2015–16 Budget.

Jobs for Families Child Care Package legislation

In 2015 and 2016, the Australian Government responded to two Senate Committee inquiries into the new legislation for the Jobs for Families Child Care Package: