I trust the year has started positively for you, the children, families and staff and that everyone has settled into good routines, are building positive relationships and your services are running smoothly. CCSA is certainly back into full swing with our Member Support, Consultancy and Training, Sector Support and Business Solutions business units all working to provide direct support to our Members in operations across all areas of governance and management.
Representing our members is always our priority and the year has started strongly in the advocacy space with all levels of government focused on supporting, improving and forming a stronger early years strategy; whether it be the rolling out of programs under the 2022 announcements from the NSW Government’s Early Years Commitment or the most recent release from the Australian Government of the Early Years Strategy Discussion Paper. No doubt it is a very exciting time. I’m also mindful you sometimes may feel overwhelmed by what announcements to concentrate on and how you can make a difference or contribute, when you are focused on operating the service. We will continue to be a strong voice and to tell your stories when representing you in consulting with government on these strategies. We will also keep you up to date on what the latest issues or opportunities are. If you wish to talk to us about these announcements and consultations please do not hesitate to contact us.
The ACCC Childcare Inquiry is running parallel to these announcements, and we have been asked to encourage our members to participate in the ACCC consultation. In undertaking the inquiry, the ACCC will consider a variety of matters covering;
- costs incurred by providers and services, including labour, land, finance, regulatory compliance and consumables
- prices charged since 1 January 2018, including price changes following specific Commonwealth policy changes
- how costs and prices differ by provider characteristics, types of care and other factors
- factors that affect supply, demand and competition in the child care services market
- the impact of the above factors on child care provider viability, quality and profits, and
- the impact and effectiveness of existing price regulation mechanisms and any impediments to these mechanisms.
The ACCC is particularly interested in input from providers to make sure they are hearing a diversity of views. The ACCC is calling for expressions of interest from childcare providers with fewer than 40 services. Services can include Centre Based Day Care, Family Day Care, In Home Care or Outside School Hours Care. The inquiry is looking into the market for the supply of childcare services. The ACCC wants to hear about your experience as a provider to understand the costs associated with running your business. Registration closes on 28 February 2023. I urge as many of our Members to respond to the Express your interest . The process is designed to hear about your service, your thoughts and suggestions and to gather data that will inform the ACCC inquiry in writing up the report. It is not an onerous process and I know you are all very capable of sharing information about your service. This is another great opportunity to engage and advocate and influence change for the future.