23 December 2022
There is just one thing Australian early childhood educators have on their Christmas wish-list this year – a better pay packet from the Australian Government.
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) CEO Elizabeth Death said that early childhood teachers and educators have again been the mainstay of our economy, continuing to educate and care for our nation’s youngest, while dealing with burn-out off the back of the pandemic, and in response to critical and ongoing workforce shortages.
“As we hurtle towards the end of 2022 we want to thank our dedicated and highly skilled early childhood education and care workforce for another huge year in the sector,” Ms Death said.
“But thanks alone is not enough. Even though the economic and social value of early learning and care is widely understood, no concrete action on wages has been provided for our sector.”
“Early childhood teachers and educators are facing Christmas with take-home pay that is still much, much lower than primary school teachers and support staff, even though they have the same or comparable professional qualifications.”
ELACCA welcomed investment through the October Budget and Cheaper Child Care Bill that aims to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families, but the success of this Bill relies on a robust early learning workforce.
‘We welcome the introduction of the Cheaper Child Care and Secure Work Better Pay legislation, but for these Bills to fulfill their promise, we need a commitment from the Australian Government to fund a pay rise for our early learning and care workforce.
“Without qualified early childhood educators and teachers, we have little hope of delivering early education to more children, for more hours each week.
“It is not feasible to build and sustain a workforce at current wage rates. We need the Australian Government to commit to funding wage increases for early childhood teachers and educators.
“At this point in time, we are fortunate to have an Australian Government, and States and Territories, that believe in the fundamental importance of early learning and care for children, families and the economy.”
“The challenge is to ensure our workforce is supported with appropriate wages, pathways and professional recognition to allow the early learning and care system to continue to expand and enable children to thrive and families to work.”
“We look forward to continuing to collaborate with Ministers Clare and Aly to urgently address the highest priority for our workforce and what they want this Christmas and beyond– appropriate remuneration,” Ms Death said.
For more information please contact:
Early Learning and Care Council of Australia
PO Box 348
Annandale NSW 2038
Mob: 0455 511 477
The Early Learning and Care Council of Australia (ELACCA) was established to promote the value of quality early learning and care as an integral part of Australia’s education system. Our 20 CEO members include some of the largest early learning providers in the country, representing both not-for-profit and for-profit services. ELACCA members operate 1,997 long day care services, 321 preschool/kindergarten services and 69 OSHC services, covering every state and territory. They offer one-quarter of all the early learning places in Australia. Together, our members serve 336,000 children and their families, and employ more than 53,000 staff.
As well as promoting the value of quality early learning and the need for greater public investment, ELACCA advocates for the right of all children to access quality early learning and care, particularly children facing disadvantage. We do this by drawing on the knowledge and practical experience of our members and representing their views to decision makers in government, the media and the public.