CCC commends Victorian Government for early learning funding commitment
Daniel Andrews’ Victorian Government is “leading the country in early childhood” with their commitment to enact two years of funded early learning for Victorian children, and address workforce shortages through the provision of free TAFE courses in early childhood, the Community Child Care Association (CCC) has said.
Executive Director of CCC, Julie Price, welcomed the secured funding in a statement from the association yesterday, noting that the secured funding represents “much needed” education and care reforms.
The investment in early childhood education, and more broadly the early childhood reform agenda enacted by the Andrews Government, Ms Price noted “is the largest investment in early education and care we have seen in the country”.
“As the peak body for Victorian community/not-for-profit education and care, we celebrate Victorian Labor’s ongoing commitment to the Early Childhood Reform Plan and the great outcomes for children and families that will be achieved.”
CCC noted that “poor wages and conditions are a key concern for early childhood educators” with the association happy to see the 2019/20 Victorian Budget includes some workforce initiatives including scholarships for aspiring teachers, free TAFE for two education and care qualifications, and a top-up of funds to support the new and existing teachers.
However, CCC cautioned the need to develop a comprehensive workforce strategy, as recommended in the Lifting our Game report, imploring the Andrews Government to prioritise the recommendation at a national level.
Referencing the commitment to provide an additional $35.5 million and $54.5 million in 2019/20 to begin the rollout of three-year-old kinder and build supporting infrastructure, CCC again drew on the Lifting our Game report to note that there have long been calls for governments across Australia to progressively implement universal access to quality early childhood programs for all three-year-olds, admiring the role the Victorian Government has played in taking the lead on those initiatives “that will make a real difference for children and families”.
Given statistics that note that one in three women report that caring for children stops them from starting a job or working more hours, CCC vowed to continue to advocate for every new school built to include an out of school hours program and an integrated long day care centre embedding the kinders already promised.
In closing, Ms Price affirmed the associations commitment to working with the Andrews Government, providing sector knowledge and advice, in support of the rollout of the “crucial” promises made “for Victorian children and educators now and into the future”.