Child Australia to pilot 9-day fortnights for educators as workforce shortage continues to bite
The Sector > Provider > Child Australia to pilot 9-day fortnights for educators as workforce shortage continues to bite

Child Australia to pilot 9-day fortnights for educators as workforce shortage continues to bite

by Jason Roberts

August 09, 2022

Western Australia and Northern Territory based approved provider Child Australia has announced plans to implement a nine day working fortnight initiative as it seeks innovative ways to attract and retain team members amidst increasing concerns around educator wellbeing and ongoing staff shortages. 


“Supporting staff wellbeing alongside ensuring enrolled family needs are met is our key priority,” said Child Australia’s CEO, Tina Holtom.


“Recent staff engagement feedback highlighted that educators are ideally looking for a healthy work-life balance. It’s tough when there is no respite and educators can’t simply choose to work from home as many other professions, so we had to think outside the square.”


“After researching global strategies, we landed on a few exciting ideas with the 9-day fortnight gaining the most interest. It’s certainly not a traditional approach for the sector but we’re all about thinking and doing things differently.” 


The changes to be implemented will see full-time employees work their standard 75 hours over 9 days, as opposed to 10, whilst receiving the same salary. They will also still accrue an additional 26 days off per year.


Participation in the pilot is voluntary and it is being rolled out through Child Australia services in Western Australia and the Northern Territory. 


“We understand this concept will not fit everybody’s lifestyle, but we are always looking for ways to innovate and improve the working environment for our educators”, Casey Girdlestone, Child Australia’s Manager of Practice Improvement explained.


Child Australia operates six long day care and five outside school hours care services across Western Australia and the Northern Territory and has a history of progressive and innovative workforce value proposition initiatives designed to improve wellbeing and secure attractions and retention objectives. 


The organisation currently offers 5 to 15 per cent above award wage packages, significant childcare discounts, ongoing professional development and leadership programs, along with a formal Awards and Recognition program.


“People are the heart and soul of our organisation,” Ms Holtom said.


“The positive outcomes of providing our people with options means that we encourage a greater focus on their overall wellbeing. There is extensive research on the links between positive educator – child interactions, and the long term benefits for children. Our educators can only bring their absolute best when they feel valued, supported and well-rested.” 

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