Unions, employers, educators and peak bodies meet in response to ECEC workforce crisis
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Unions, employers, educators and peak bodies meet in response to ECEC workforce crisis

Unions, employers, educators and peak bodies meet in response to ECEC workforce crisis

by Freya Lucas

October 26, 2022

Early Childhood Australia, a peak body representing the interests of the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, recently worked with the United Workers Union to bring together unions, employers, educators and peak bodies from across the sector for a workforce crisis summit. 


Representatives from each of the groups represented then unanimously issued a statement calling for urgent action. 


“ECEC has been undervalued and low wages are a major contributor to the current workforce crisis – it is long past time for action,” the statement begins.


The summit also noted that the ambitious agenda of the new federal government in early education was dependent on stabilising the enormous workforce turnover and addressing the chronic shortages nationwide. These issues need to be addressed in time for the sector to implement proposed reforms to the Child Care Subsidy taking effect next July because it will create extra demand for places from working parents.


“After robust discussions, we committed to work together to develop sustainable solutions that respect and value early educators and drive up their wages,” the statement outlines.  


“The sector has heard the call from government to collaborate. We discussed the government’s proposal to open up multi-employer bargaining and their clear indication that this style of bargaining may provide a pathway for early education to lift wages. Other alternatives were also canvassed and the diverse needs and circumstances of all care types considered.”


The summit will be held again in the second week of November, to explore options including multi-employer bargaining, and to plot out timelines and processes. 


“It is essential that this meeting includes the primary funder of early education, the federal government, and we look forward to engaging with them,” attendees noted. 


Early Childhood Educator Tamika attended the summit, saying “Everyone was on the same page which made us really hopeful and optimistic. We are looking at exciting new and different ways to achieve the sector that all children and educators deserve.” 


Participating organisations included:



For more context about the workforce crisis being faced in the ECEC sector, please see here

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