Thrive by Five calls for ECEC investment in 2020 Budget ahead of educator forum

by Freya Lucas

September 30, 2020

The upcoming Federal Budget must prioritise investment in Australia’s “broken” early learning system to ensure families, and the broader economy, emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic in better shape, according to Jay Weatherill, CEO of Minderoo Foundation’s Thrive by Five initiative.

 

Mr Weatherill’s comments have been made on the eve of the Thrive by Five educator forum, to be held online on Thursday 1 October at 7pm, AEST. 

 

The forum will bring together Mr Weatherill, along with core union representatives from both the United Workers Union (UWU) and the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU), and sector activist and consultant Lisa Bryant. 

 

“The Thrive by Five campaign is building a movement of broad support across political lines calling on the Federal government to invest in a universally accessible, high-quality early education system, delivered by a skilled and supported workforce,” UWU early childhood education and care (ECEC) director Helen Gibbons said, describing the Thrive by Five movement as offering educators an opportunity to have meaningful impact. 

 

“Educators have always been at the forefront of improving our sector,” she said, “and Thrive by Five is an opportunity to shape the sector that we want to see into the future. Educator stories must be heard to highlight the failures of the current system.”

 

“This is a chance for educators to come together to share our lived experience, explore this exciting new campaign and plan how educators can contribute their ideas, skills and passion to build the momentum for change. A forum led by educators, for educators.”

 

Thrive by Five’s priorities include:

 

  •               Ensuring all families receive assistance of at least 30 per cent of childcare costs, with the long-term goal of universal access to high quality early learning for all Australian children;
  •               Increasing the Child Care Subsidy for families and carers whose incomes have been reduced due to COVID-19;
  •               Expanding the JobTrainer program to provide free or low-cost TAFE and VET courses in Early Childhood Education and Care; and,
  •               Calling on the Prime Minister to urgently convene a national roundtable on the early childhood education and care workforce, including a discussion of the immediate ways to support educator jobs and long-term workforce planning.

 

“Over the years the early learning system has become complex and outdated, now is the time for bipartisan support for a key economic reform that will drive workforce participation, productivity, GDP and government revenue,” Mr Weatherill said.

 

“Affordable, high-quality childcare is the answer to lifting Australia out of recession and a brighter future for our children.”

 

Those interested in attending the forum can register here

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