Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, today condemned in Federal Parliament the Coalition Government’s planned dumping of the Early Years Quality Fund.
"The Early Years Quality Fund was created to help child care providers with the cost of employing more qualified workers, and to ensure the highest quality education and care was being provided ” Ms Chesters said.
“Before the election the Coalition said they would honour the funds contracted from the EYQF – but now they are walking away from it.”
Under the plan, eligible services will receive grants to increase wages for employees with a Certificate III by $3 per hour from July 1.
Ms Chesters spoke in Parliament about wages for child care educators and the link to quality education for young children.
“These are hard‐working and skilled workers who have a qualification,” she said.
“It is proven that the first six years of a child’s life is the most important.
“It’s only fair that working parents have confidence that their child will receive high quality care from well‐trained staff, and the staff will be appropriately paid for it.”
Ms Chesters said she had also requested a meeting with Assistant Minister for Early Childcare, Sussan Ley.
“However she refused to meet with me to discuss this urgent issue,” Ms Chesters said.
Ms Chesters said her next step was to table a petition with about 150 signatures of Castlemaine parents presented to her in October.
“I will table the petition through the appropriate committees,” she said.
“I am sure it’s the first of many I’ll be receiving on this issue.
“I will continue to fight to achieve the best outcome for central Victorian child care centres.”