ECEC sector awaits Budget 2024 outcomes on wages as Treasurer stokes expectations
The Sector > Provider > General News > ECEC sector awaits Budget 2024 outcomes on wages as Treasurer stokes expectations

ECEC sector awaits Budget 2024 outcomes on wages as Treasurer stokes expectations

by Jason Roberts

May 12, 2024

Stakeholders across the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector will be eagerly awaiting the release of the 2024 Federal Budget in which expectations remain high that a commitment to fund an increase in educator wages will be included. 


The Budget, which will be handed down at 7:30pm, Tuesday 14 May, will be the third from Treasurer Jim Chalmers MP and the last before the next General Election which could be called at any time after August this year. 


Speaking with the ABC Mr Chalmers said, “There is a provision in the budget for aged care and early childhood to make sure we are paying people in the care economy what they need and they deserve.”


Similar sentiments were expressed on Channel 9 where he noted, “we will make a multi billion dollar provision in the budget for better wages in the care economy, early childhood and aged care.”


Mr Chalmers’ comments are consistent with those made by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in a press conference last week where he said “We have an aged care wage increase that’s been substantial. We’re looking, of course, at early educators as well.”


Although ECEC stakeholders will be encouraged by the comments from both the Treasurer and the Prime Minister the specifics of the provision have not yet been shared with question marks as to how much will be absorbed by the aged care sector, and to what degree the Fair Work Commission’s annual wage review will impact overall funding levels. 


That being said, in a separate comment referred to in the Australian Financial Review (AFR) Mr Chalmer’s is quoted as saying, “The government funding will be delivered in a way that supports the affordability of childcare and is consistent with our commitment to responsible economic management,” before suggesting that “the government would want to stagger the childcare increase as well.”


The broader ECEC sector has been tracking developments associated with wage increases closely over the course of the last six months with extended wage negotiations between employer and employee representatives focused on increases, a key driver as well as the recently confirmed “work value” related lift to award rates in the aged care sector


To review this year’s Budget 2024-25 please click here

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