ACCC child care price inquiry: final report released

early childhood education and care price inquiry

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has released its final report from its inquiry into early childhood education and care (ECEC) pricing.

The inquiry examined key issues affecting the ECEC sector, including:

  • 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 ACCC carried out a range of consultation and information gathering activities throughout 2023. The final report contains findings related to the costs, prices and competition within Australian child care markets.

It also makes recommendations to achieve accessibility and affordability for children and families across Australia.

Key findings include:

  • the Cheaper Child Care reforms cut costs for families across all care types
  • a ‘one size fits all’ government intervention is unlikely to be effective.

Key recommendations include:

  • consider and consult on changes to Child Care Subsidy (CCS) and hourly rate cap
  • ensure the information provided on StartingBlocks.gov.au better meets parents’ and guardians’ needs
  • make policy changes to support educators and teachers
  • design policy options to better meet the needs of those who use In Home Care services
  • develop alternative approaches for First Nations households to access CCS.

Read more about the inquiry.

Read the ACCC’s final report.

Read the ACCC's media release.

Read the Minister's media release.


Correct at time of publication.