Quality & accessible early childhood education

Early childhood educator reading a book to a class of pre-school children in the playground
Supporting access to quality early childhood education is a priority of VU.

World-leading research by the Mitchell Institute shows concerning gaps across the country. This ongoing research continues to get the attention of policy-makers and inform decisions on new centres.

Mapping childcare availability in Australia – deserts & oases

The Mitchell Institute report Deserts and Oases: How accessible is childcare in Australia found that when it comes to accessing childcare, where you live matters.

The suburbs and regions where childcare access is most scarce, a childcare desert is defined as an area where there are more than three children per childcare place.

The report found there were deserts in all Australian states and territories, and in all capital cities; and 1.1 million Australians live in regional and remote areas where there is no childcare available at all.

Guiding policy decisions in Australia: the research findings featured prominently in the Victorian and NSW Governments announcements of over $15 billion extra funding to expand the early learning sector.

Latest developments: the Mitchell Institute team are working on an international childcare report, applying the childcare deserts and oases methodology to highlight childcare accessibility and inform policy decisions beyond Australia.