Three pledges most important to ECEC workers in Budget 2023
The Sector > Policy > Examples > Budget 23 – Three key commitments for ECEC educators, teachers and directors

Budget 23 – Three key commitments for ECEC educators, teachers and directors

by Jason Roberts

May 13, 2023
ECEC educators savings in 2023 Federal Budget

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers handed down the 2023/24 Federal Budget earlier this week, in which three key areas stood out as important to educators, teachers and directors currently working in, or hoping to work in the early childhood education and care sector. 


Workforce professional learning commitments 


Firstly, a series of new workforce professional learning funding commitments that included $34.4 million over five years to pay for the backfilling of team members who are off site to undertake mandatory or highly recommended training or to pay an allowance for training taken outside work hours. 


In addition, $33.1 million over five years has been pledged to provide financial assistance for educators to undertake a paid practicum in initial teacher education courses at a bachelor or postgraduate level and a further $4.8 million over five years to support educators to undertake a practicum exchange at a different service. 


The Government estimates around 75,000 ECEC professionals will benefit from the backfilling initiative, 6,000 will benefit from paid practicum teacher course assistance and a further 2,000 from a practicum exchange at different services. 


Boosting employment pathway commitments 


Secondly, the Budget included the second tranche of a $15.2 million two year pledge to support The Y Careers Agency create a targeted 15,000 places across its multiple care based channels over five years. 


Y Careers Agency will aim to ensure also that young people are encouraged to enrol in relevant micro credentials, short courses, tertiary courses and apprenticeships to support their career portfolio development.


The Y’s focus in developing young people’s career portfolios through which their focus shifts from jobs to skills and capabilities that prepare young people for being able to optimally engage with their work. 


Creating a funding mechanism for aged care workers 15% pay increase 


Thirdly, the Budget included a significant pledge of $515 million over five years to fund the outcome of the Fair Work Commission’s decision to increase aged care workers award wages by 15 per cent from 30 June 2023. 


This case has been closely watched by the ECEC sector, which shares many of the characteristics of the aged care workforce including lower pay levels, amidst hopes that it could create a roadmap for a similar funded pay reset for educators, teachers and directors as well. 


Importantly, the funding package did not only cover pay increases via grants for the next five year but also funded entitlements and targeted indexation boost for a range of First Nations aged care worker programs too. 


As we look ahead the next focus will be on state and territory budget announcements which are mostly expected in the coming weeks. 


Full coverage of this year’s ECEC focused budget commitments can be found here

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