The Australian Government has directed the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to hold an inquiry into early childhood education and care (ECEC) prices.
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Terms of reference
On 28 October 2022, Treasurer, the Hon Dr Jim Chalmers, directed the ACCC to hold an inquiry into ECEC prices. The Treasurer asked the ACCC to consider:
- costs incurred by providers and services, including labour, land, finance, regulatory compliance and consumables
- prices charged since 1 January 2018
- how costs and prices differ by provider characteristics, types of care and other factors
- factors that affect supply, demand and competition in the market
- the impact of the above factors on provider viability, quality and profits
- the impact and effectiveness of existing price regulation mechanisms and any impediments to these mechanisms.
The inquiry is aligned to the Government’s increases to the Child Care Subsidy.
The ACCC has started its inquiry into early childhood education and care costs and prices. It will provide an interim report to the Treasurer by 30 June 2023, and its final report by 31 December 2023.
The findings will feed into the Productivity Commission’s review into the ECEC sector.
The ACCC is engaging with a broad range of providers, carers and families. A consultation schedule is available on the ACCC website.
- The Government announced in the Federal Budget on 25 October 2022 it will spend $10.8 million to fund the ACCC inquiry. Read the Budget announcement.
- Read the ACCC’s welcoming of the inquiry.
- See the consultation schedule.