Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has met with early childhood workers at Goodstart Early Learning in Golden Square to discuss Labor’s commitment to improve child care affordability and fund professional wages.
A Shorten Labor Government will ensure Australia’s early childhood educators are better paid, supporting a quality early education and care system that delivers the best outcomes for children.
“Early childhood educators are doing the important and demanding job of educating and caring for our next generation – 90 per cent of a child’s brain development occurs in the first five years of a child’s life - yet they are some of the lowest-paid workers,” Chesters said.
“Far too many educators and teachers are leaving the sector, not because of a lack of love for the job, but a lack of pay.”
Labor will fund pay increases of 20 per cent to early childhood educators over 8 years - supporting workers and delivering professional pay.
As a result – the average total wages of early childhood educators will increase by an estimated $11,300.
Additionally, from July next year Labor will put more money back in working parents’ pockets for 887,000 Australian families – slashing up to $2,100 per child off their annual child care bill.
“Labor will increase the subsidy families receive, we will kick start the process to limit out-of-control child care price increases, and we will review the impact of the system on vulnerable and very low-income families.”
Goodstart Early Learning Chief Executive Officer Julia Davison said Labor’s commitments recognises that the early years are as important as schooling or higher education in setting up children for success and securing our nations future.
“Making access to early learning and child care more affordable for 75% of families recognises that cost should not be a barrier for children who need it most to access early learning,”Davison said.
“Increasing educators’ wages would support the professional workforce our youngest learners deserve while also ensuring early learning is more affordable for thousands of families.
“These policies build on Labor’s earlier commitment to give all children access to two years of play-based preschool programs in the vital years before they start school.
“The evidence is clear that children from low income families who access quality early learning are better prepared to launch into formal learning at school.
“We welcome Labor’s commitment to urgently review the new child care subsidy system to make sure that vulnerable and low-income families and children aren’t falling through the cracks.