Early Childhood Australia lends support to ECEC Workforce Action Plan
Peak early childhood advocacy body Early Childhood Australia (ECA) has joined Thrive By Five and a broad coalition of unions, educator groups, experts, and advocates for children and parents, to launch the Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce Action Plan.
The action plan, a Thrive By Five initiative, outlines key priorities to address the workforce shortages affecting the ECEC sector, namely:
- funding an immediate pay rise for early childhood educators and teachers
- amending the Fair Work Act to allow for a pay review in line with the professional value of the workforce
- progressing implementation of the National Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce Strategy as part of the Jobs and Skills Summit agenda
- establishing a collaborative process for a longer-term ECEC workforce reform.
“A high-quality early learning experience for children depends on a professionally qualified and stable workforce that feels valued,” said ECA CEO Ms Samantha Page.
“The Early Childhood Education and Care Workforce Action Plan is targeted at addressing the sector’s workforce crisis.”
The plan, she continued, “rightly points out the opportunity and need to engage in an exclusive and independent dialogue on the early learning workforce issues at the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit.
“The workforce crisis is real, with many services closing rooms, capping numbers, or not being able to give families extra days as they don’t have the workforce to deliver the amount of services that they’re already licensed for.”
Ms Page said that while ECA continues to advocate for pay parity for degree-qualified teachers and a wage increase for educators who hold a certificate or diploma, steps should be taken to ensure that the wage increases are secured and paid for by increasing the childcare subsidy or preschool or kindergarten funding, rather than letting it flow into the out-of-pocket costs for families.
A full list of endorsing parties, along with a copy of the plan, may be downloaded here.
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