Parents for Climate need your help for sustainable ECEC power
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Parents for Climate need your help for sustainable ECEC power

by Freya Lucas

November 21, 2023

With 17,000 supporters and more than $71 million in government funding behind them to bring solar power to schools, there’s no doubt that the passionate team behind Parents for Climate gets results. Now they want to bring similar results to the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, but they need your support. 


“Clean energy keeps children safe, now and in the future. We want every child to benefit from the transition to clean energy, and that means every school and ECEC service has access to clean, green energy, and the savings and health benefits which come with it,” said spokesperson Michael Pulsford.


“What we’re noticing as we speak with people in the sector is that the bigger providers, who have the capacity and resources to get rooftop solar, are doing so, and it’s saving them money. But overwhelmingly the smaller providers and services simply don’t have the capacity, in the current staffing crisis, to access these upgrades without government support even though it would ease their financial situation in the long run.”


“It’s just not fair that the small end of town pays more for energy, but unless we can make governments sit up and take notice, it’s going to stay that way.”


Those benefits are not only environmental solar and batteries can insulate services from ever-increasing power bills and protect them from power interruptions.


“We believe ECEC services have better things to spend money on than power bills and should be able to keep air conditioners and fridges running during power outages,” Mr Pulsford said.


For services who have already made the move over to embracing solar power, there is a sense of pride in taking real, tangible steps toward a more sustainable future, he continued. 


“We know that 90 per cent of brain development happens in the first five years of life, so the early years are absolutely critical in planting the seeds of sustainable thinking.” 


Parents for Climate are developing a report which aims to attract the attention of decision makers and the broader mainstream media, but needs the support of ECEC services to provide ‘real life’ examples of: 


  • Financial challenges due to increasing energy prices;
  • The benefits from having rooftop solar; or, 
  • Wishing they could take advantage of those benefits, but face obstacles.


“Even a sentence or two helps us make these issues real for journalists and decision makers, but if you have more to say we’re all ears and will of course anonymise any information if requested,” Mr Pulsford said.


Specific stories which would be extra helpful include: 


  • Financial benefits of having rooftop solar
  • Stories about incorporating rooftop solar into explicit teaching
  • Centre closures during power outages
  • Financial pressures on centres related to power bill increases
  • Power bill increases being a factor in raising fees.


“We need to show appetite from all parts of the sector, so we need stories from all kinds of services: big, small, LDC, kinder etc, profit, not for profit…we want to hear from everyone!” he added.  


You can email Parents for Climate at m[email protected] or call 0418 326 814 to share your story.


There is also a three-minute online survey which has yes/no questions and multiple choice questions, with space at the end to add more detail. 

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