Lack of affordable ECEC pushes women out of promotions: Rudd
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Lack of ECEC options is pricing women out of work and promotions, CEO says

Lack of ECEC options is pricing women out of work and promotions, CEO says

by Freya Lucas

December 06, 2023

The ‘dire lack’ of affordable early childhood education and care (ECEC) options in regional, rural and remote communities is impacting women unfairly, The Parenthood Interim CEO Jessica Rudd said during her recent address to the National Press Club. 


Women in all communities, she continued, are being priced out of work and promotions “at warp speed”, and a number of highly feminised sectors and industries such as teaching, nursing and aged care are experiencing crippling staffing shortages, in part due to a lack of affordable care.


“Workforce shortages in critical service areas like health and education worsen when parents can’t return to work and towns suffer as a result,” she said.


Ms Rudd likened the provision of high-quality universal early childhood education and care to Medicare and superannuation, calling it “smart politics” and something worth fighting for. 


“All parties and crossbenchers should unite behind the government in prioritising efforts to secure universal early childhood education and care for their constituents,” she said.


She acknowledged the complexities of such reform saying “it’s probably a 10-year project” but outlining that fixing the child care subsidy activity test and increasing wages for workers in the sector were “things that we can do now” to ensure children did not miss out on quality care and education.


Ms Rudd’s address came as 30 organisations including The Parenthood signed an open letter to Queensland election candidates and major parties urging them to prioritise endorsing the six-point Queensland Early Years Plan.


The plan calls for universal access to kindergarten for all children aged three and four years of age and a holistic early childhood system that supports children’s developmental outcomes from birth to school.


It also includes a workforce strategy to attract and retain the best teachers, educators and experts and advocates local solutions connected to communities.


Access Ms Rudd’s speech in full here


Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button