Putting a value on early childhood education and care in Australia

Putting a value on early childhood education and care in Australia

The purpose of this analysis is to provide estimates of the potential value of ECEC to the Australian economy based on a number of plausible scenarios.

Too often we measure success or failure on too short a time horizon when we know that the gains that are likely to accrue from high quality ECEC will be realised over a longer time period. In this context, PwC has undertaken economy-wide modelling to help meet the need for an Australian evidence base around the value of ECEC. We have modelled three impacts on the Australian economy:

  1. impacts of an increase in female labour force participation
  2. productivity impacts of participation in quality ECEC
  3. impacts of increasing vulnerable children’s participation in ECEC.

Our findings demonstrate that there are potential benefits across the board for providing quality ECEC including:

  • growing Australia’s GDP
  • improving workforce participation choices for parents and in particular women
  • helping realise the full potential of Australian children
  • reducing the impacts of disadvantage.

Our modelling results show that all of these benefits can be achieved with a net saving to government.

PwC Partner James van Smeerdijk participated in a live online forum with Professor Frank Oberklaid, Royal Children's Hospital, and Julia Davison, CEO, Goodstart, to discuss the long run benefits of investment in early childhood education and care. View the broadcast here.