The Morrison Government is securing Australia’s recovery and setting up our future with an additional $3.3 billion to give Australian kids the best possible start to their education through better access to preschool and more affordable child care.
The 2021-22 Budget includes $1.7 billion to increase the child care subsidy for Australian families with multiple children under school age in child care and around $1.6 billion in ongoing Commonwealth funding for preschool education.
Minister for Education and Youth Alan Tudge said investing in youth and education was an investment in Australia’s future and will help lock in our long-term economic recovery from COVID-19.
“We are backing young Australians right through their learning journey through our funding across early childhood education and care, schools, and higher education,” Minister Tudge said.
“We are giving Australians the best chance to reach their full potential and to get the skills and qualifications they need to get into a job, now and in the longer term.”
The 2021-22 Budget also includes an additional $53.6 million of targeted support for international education providers most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the absence of international students.
While universities and many other higher education providers have benefitted from an increase in domestic students, some independent English language providers and higher education providers are almost entirely reliant on having international students onshore.
“Keeping our borders closed has been our best defence against COVID-19, but we realise the impact this has had on private providers,” Minister Tudge said.
“Our package of support will help keep these businesses viable until international students can return in larger numbers.”
Key Budget Measures:
Early childhood and child care
- Almost $10 billion funding for child care in 2021-22, including $9.4 billion to subsidise families for the fees set by providers.
- $1.7 billion to increase the child care subsidy for second and subsequent children aged five years and under from 1 July 2022, making child care more affordable for growing families. The $10,560 cap on the Child Care Subsidy for families earning above $189,390 will also be removed.
- Approximately $1.6 billion for preschool funding. This funding will be delivered through a new agreement with states and territories linked to reforms to lift preschool attendance and school readiness. This takes our total investment in preschools to $4.8 billion since we came to Government.
- $9.2 million to establish a new, family-focussed child care website, to make it easier for families to get accurate information about local services, quality, fees, and vacancies.
- $7.7 million to pilot new monitoring, data sharing and compliance efforts to prevent and detect fraud within the child care system.
- Record Commonwealth funding for all Australian schools of $24.4 billion in 2021-22.
- $4.0 million for the Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) students and to move testing online. From 2023, students considering a teaching degree will also be able to sit the test before commencing their studies, so they can make informed decisions about their suitability to become a teacher.
- $5.8 million to continue the Australian Teacher Workforce Data collection project in collaboration with all states and territories to support teacher workforce policies and planning initiatives.
- Continuing to support the international education sector through a $53.6 million package of support measures targeted at independent English language and non-university higher education providers:
- $26.1 million for an extra 5,000 short course places to be available for domestic students in the 2021-22 financial year at non-university higher education providers.
- $17.7 million to extend regulatory fees and charges relief until 31 December 2021 for
- CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students),
- TEQSA (Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency), and
- ASQA (Australian Skills Quality Authority).
- $9.4 million to establish an innovation fund, enabling independent English language and higher education providers to apply for up to $150,000 to change their business models to grow offshore and online delivery of education in response to the pandemic.
- Further FEE-HELP loan fee exemptions for about 30,000 existing and prospective students until 31 December 2021.
- The Research Training Program funding framework will be modified to increase PhD student completion funding by approximately $30,000 per graduate for those undertaking an industry placement. This will further boost the Government’s research commercialisation agenda and encourage greater university-industry collaboration.
- $481.2 million to reform and expand the successful youth employment services program, Transition to Work, to help disadvantaged young people transition from school to work.
- $11.1 million for the delivery of programs to assist young people, teachers and parents foster a greater sense of social cohesion, diversity and a sense of belonging.
- $1.2 million to co-sponsor the Young Australian of the Year Awards, to recognise the contributions and service of young people within our community.
- $1.0 million to strengthen civics and citizenship education, including by extending participation in the annual National Schools Constitution Convention to Year 9 and 10 students.
- Supporting young people in disadvantaged regions across Australia to access scholarships to improve their skills and employment opportunities.
By investing in Australian families and students, the Government’s 2021-22 Budget is securing Australia’s recovery, giving families greater choice, and helping children reach their full potential.