Positive responses to ECEC wage boost news
The Sector > Workforce > Advocacy > Favourable responses to Government’s indication of pending ECEC wage boost

Favourable responses to Government’s indication of pending ECEC wage boost

by Freya Lucas

May 13, 2024

There have been favourable responses from a number of early childhood education and care (ECEC) advocates, providers and organisations in light of the indications made by the Treasurer over the weekend that the upcoming Federal Budget will allocate funding to increase wages in the ECEC sector. 


“The Federal Labor Government commitment to fund a significant wage rise for early childhood educators is welcome, and desperately needed to address the continuing workforce crisis in the sector,” Carolyn Smith, Early Education Director of the United Workers Union said.


Peak bodies the Community Child Care Association (CCC) and Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) have both been active in negotiating the increase, and welcomed the Treasurer’s statement, one which they say “shows the Federal Government recognises the value of early educators and teachers to Australia’s families and communities.”


“We haven’t wasted a second since these new laws passed. We are excited that educators and teachers will soon see the benefit, and more children will be able to access high-quality education and care,” CCC’s Julie Price said. 


CELA’s Michele Carnegie described the news as “a game changer” for the long day care sector, adding “ We look forward to finalising the new multi-employer agreement so small and community providers can attract the qualified staff they need.”


The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) commended the Government for the significant commitment to ensure the budget has provision to deliver on the successful outcome of the ongoing supported bargaining process.


“When ACA made a commitment to participate in the supported bargaining process, it did so on the condition that a successful outcome was reliant on Government funding to ensure no families would be worse off and that services would be fully funded for the impact of the final outcome,” ACA President Paul Mondo said.


“With the Government’s intentions now articulated we look forward to working with the Government and other parties in the near future to realise this outcome so the benefit can reach our workforce as soon as possible.”


Goodstart Early Learning, Australia’s largest not for profit provider of long day care, said the announcement was one which would go down in history as being a significant commitment to pay equity. 


“Goodstart welcomes this historic recognition of the value of early childhood educators, and the government’s role in ensuring fair remuneration going forward,” CEO Dr Ros Baxter said. 


“Early childhood is an overwhelmingly female sector – 97 per cent women – and the crucial work that educators do in supporting children’s learning and development and supporting their parents to participate in the workforce has long been undervalued.”


“This historic commitment by the Australian Government to fund a decent wage increase for educators is an important economic reform for women, addressing both pay equity in an overwhelming female sector and supporting women’s workforce participation.”


While industrial processes will need to be finalised before the wage increase announcement translates into additional money flowing through to ECEC frontline workers, sentiment in the sector relating to the announcement is jubilant. 


“Goodstart stands ready to roll our sleeves up and work with the government to deliver as soon as possible for our people, and the hardworking educators who are the backbone of this sector,” Dr Baxter said.


To learn more about the announcement, please see here

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