Childcare Review & Strike Require Systemic Solutions: Research Report

Nordic-style investment needed in early years learning
by Andrew Scott

Key Findings:

  • Australian families currently spend 20% of household income on childcare, far more than in most OECD nations.
  • Swedish households spend just 5% of household income on childcare, Norway spends 8%, and Denmark 10%.
  • Australia has the 3rd highest proportion of private childcare providers receiving government subsidies: 77% compared to 13% in Iceland, 17% in Sweden & Denmark.
  • Australia’s pre-primary education enrolment rate for under 4-year-olds lags at 15% compared to 69% across the OECD, 84% in Britain, 87% New Zealand, 91% Denmark, 93% Sweden, 95% Norway

Report recommends:

  • Childcare price caps as a proportion of family income, similar to Nordic countries, should be considered
  • Rebalancing the proportion of private providers who receive subsidies via investment in government and not-for-profit services
  • Targeted salary support similar to Sweden’s ‘Teacher Salary Boost’ to attract and retain staff

Full report