Goodstart joins with unions and advocacy groups to lobby for changes for women
Early childhood education and care provider Goodstart Early Learning has joined with representatives from parent, employer and business groups to call for changes to benefit the women of Australia, presenting “a united goal of making Australia a nation in which all women can live and work freely and safely and reach their full potential”.
Achieving these changes, which include reform in the area of early childhood education, “would benefit all in our nation,” the group said.
The Cabinet Women’s Taskforce was welcomed by the group as an opportunity to “make the safety and economic security of all women a priority,” outlining that the 2021/2022 Federal Budget presents an opportunity to lift the economic security and safety of women by;
- Reinstating the Women’s Budget Statement and ensuring:
- It is integrated with gender-responsive budgeting during budget planning cycles;
It covers expenditure across all Government Departments; and,
It is prepared independently by the Parliamentary Budget Office and with input from the women’s sector.
- Investing in and reforming early childhood education:
- Work to the goal of universal access to quality early childhood education and care;
- A first step should be to change the taper rates and per child cap to remove disincentives to increase women’s workforce participation, and address supply side constraints; and,
- Improved secure funding for the workforce that ensures the attraction and retention of highly skilled, better paid educators in secure employment.
- Building on the Federal Government’s most recent amendments to paid parental leave by expanding the Government’s Paid Parental Leave Scheme to 26 weeks, flexibly shared by both parents, and providing an additional two weeks leave for each parent when care is equally shared.
- Provide new and adequate funding for domestic, family and sexual violence services, as well as funding for improved prevention of gendered violence, an accountability mechanism and law reform.
- Adequately funding aged care and addressing workforce issues including the undervaluation of the predominantly female workforce skills and pay, improved training and staff to resident ratios.
In addition to the 2021/2022 Federal Budget, the group called for the strengthening of paid domestic and family violence leave, the continued implementation of recommendations in the [email protected] report, and stronger work health and safety laws.
The statement by the group was signed by Georgie Dent – Executive Director, The Parenthood; Michele O’Neil – President Australian Council of Trade Unions; Jennifer Westacott AO – CEO, Business Council of Australia; Wendy McCarthy AO; Sam Mostyn AO – President, Chief Executive Women and Natalie Walker – Deputy Chair, Goodstart Early Learning
To read the full text of the statement, see here.