Productivity Commission inquiry into ECEC

The Australian Government has tasked the Productivity Commission with undertaking an inquiry into Australia’s early childhood education and care (ECEC) system.

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About the inquiry

The Australian Government released the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission’s comprehensive inquiry into Australia’s ECEC system on 9 February 2023 and the inquiry commenced on 1 March 2023.

The inquiry will make recommendations to support affordable, accessible, equitable and high-quality ECEC that reduces barriers to workforce participation and supports children’s learning and development.

The Government has appointed Professor Emerita Deborah Brennan AM as an Associate Commissioner to assist with the inquiry.

The findings of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry into the price of early childhood education and care will feed into this inquiry.

Terms of reference

The terms of reference for the inquiry are available on the Productivity Commission’s website.

Inquiry process and consultation

The Productivity Commission inquiry began on 1 March 2023. The Commission will provide a final report to the Australian Government by 30 June 2024 and will release a draft report in late November 2023.

The Commission is calling for public submissions, which can be made by visiting the Productivity Commission website. Initial submissions are due by 19 May 2023.

The Commission will also seek submissions after its draft report is released.

For questions about the inquiry, and how to participate visit the Productivity Commission website or email

More information

Read the media release on the Ministers’ Media Centre.

Read more about the inquiry on the Productivity Commission’s website