Australian Competition and Consumer Commission child care price inquiry

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.

Inquiry process

The ACCC published the ECEC price inquiry interim report on 5 July 2023.

The interim report provides early insight into the ACCC’s investigations into prices, affordability and the market for ECEC. It draws on Department of Education data, preliminary results from the ACCC’s survey of parents and guardians, and information that providers submitted directly to the ACCC.

In September, the ACCC will release a consultation paper with potential draft findings and recommendations and will invite public submissions in response.

The ACCC will deliver its final report to the government by 31 December 2023.

A schedule of consultations is available on the ACCC child care inquiry page.

More information