SNAICC calls for Jobs and Skills Summit to address ECEC access
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > SNAICC calls for Jobs and Skills Summit to address ECEC access

SNAICC calls for Jobs and Skills Summit to address ECEC access

by Freya Lucas

September 01, 2022

SNAICC – National Voice for Our Children has called on today’s Jobs and Skills Summit to address barriers such as access to early childhood education and care (ECEC) that prevent Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from engaging in employment and training.


The Summit, SNAICC CEO Catherine Liddle said, “must look beyond quick fixes for current workforce shortages.”


While she welcomed the Federal Government’s commitment to reform, simply offering more affordable care “cannot be the only answer”. 


“Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have much higher unemployment than non-Indigenous Australians,” she continued. 


“In 2018, the Indigenous employment rate was 49 per cent compared to around 75 per cent for non-Indigenous Australians. This gap widens the more remote you go.”


“Remote regions also suffer the most from lack of access to ECEC places. Many parents and carers who want to take up work and training in regional and remote communities cannot because there are no childcare services in their area.”


Women are especially impacted as a result, with more limited job prospects entrenching poverty and putting pressure on extended family members to care for children.


“Children miss out on early years education, increasing gaps in developmental readiness for school,” Ms Liddle continued. 


“The federal childcare funding model must be reformed to increase access for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to culturally appropriate education and care.”


She called on the Government to remove the activity test, something she said “is critical if we are to have the same opportunities to participate economically and ensure universal access means what it says – a fair system that benefits everyone.”


Women in the Anmatjere region in the Northern Territory have joined forces with SNAICC to highlight how having no access to childcare impacts their families and community. 


They hope their story will be heard at the Summit.

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