ECEC advocate Adjunct Professor Susan Pascoe AM responds to 6-point plan

ECEC advocate Adjunct Professor Susan Pascoe AM responds to 6-point plan

by Freya Lucas

March 24, 2022

Adjunct Professor Susan Pascoe AM has responded to the six-point plan released by early childhood education and care (ECEC) peak bodies Community Child Care Association (CCC), Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) and Early Learning Association Australia (ELAA), calling for significant changes to the sector.

 

Adjunct Professor Pascoe AM said the 2022 Federal Election is a time for Australian families to demand action, and a time for politicians to commit to action in return. 

 

“Pledges to hold reviews, taskforces and inquiries are not needed,” she continued. “We have piles of credible research and reports. Further, peak bodies have built and released a plan that acts as a blueprint for government action.”

 

“The six point plan created by CELA, ELAA and CCC guarantees access to high-quality education and care, delivered by a dedicated, qualified and fairly paid workforce.”

 

The six-point plan includes: 

  1.   Two days a week of funded early education and care for all children from birth to school 

  2.   A commitment to the inclusion of all children 

  3.   Mandatory National Quality Standard assessments and ratings at least every three years 

  4.   The creation of a national industrial instrument for the education and care sector to provide educators with fairer levels of pay 

  5.   A National Children’s Education and Care Workforce Strategy 

  6.   Properly funded infrastructure and sector support. 

“This plan ensures children are better prepared to start school, ready to learn from day one, and less likely to fall behind. It’s a plan that ensures children will develop the crucial underpinning cognitive, social and emotional skills that provide lifelong benefits,” the Adjunct Professor continued.

 

“The benefits of this plan extend to parents and carers as their ability to take on paid work will be dramatically improved, especially for women. This boosts the economy by lifting workforce participation, productivity and tax revenue. The massive pressure on families trying to balance carer responsibilities with increasing costs of living will also be alleviated.”

 

In order for the benefits to children and families to be realised, she continued, the ECEC sector must be seen as an attractive career path with fair compensation. 

 

“Better skills, wages and conditions will transform the sector from a ‘job’ into a rewarding career,” Adjunct Professor Pascoe said.

 

“The education and care sector demands urgent attention from all parties and candidates to ensure Australia’s children get a great start in life. Their future, as well as their families and prospects of future generations depend on it.”

 

Susan Pascoe AM, FAICD, FAIPAA, FACE, is Adjunct Professor at the University of Western Australia. She Chairs the Australian Council for International Development and the Community Director’s Council.  She is a member of the Victorian Government’s Kindergarten Reform Implementation Board.  In 2017, she co-chaired with Prof Deb Brennan, a review into Early Childhood Education for the Council for the Australian Federation, culminating in the Lifting our Game Report. Adjunct Professor Pascoe is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, the Institute of Public Administration of Australia and the Australian College of Educators.  

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