Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters, has described today’s backflip by the Coalition Government on the Early Years Quality Fund as “extremely disappointing”.
The Coalition Government promised in the lead-up to the election they would honour Labor’s $300 million Early Years Quality Fund.
But today, Assistant Minister for Education, Sussan Ley, announced signed-up child care providers were expected to hand back the money.
“The Minister's announcement is extremely disappointing,” Ms Chesters said.
“This is an outrageous act by the Coalition Government to cut the wages of Bendigo and central Victorian early child care educators.
“Providers are now in the impossible position of being asked by the Government to cancel long overdue and fully-funded pay rises on the eve of Christmas.
“This Government is not just breaking their election commitments - they are now asking child care providers to do it for them.”
Ms Chesters said the Early Years Quality Fund was established to help an industry struggling with high staff turnover.
“Despite having formal qualifications, childcare educators are paid as little as $17 per hour,” she said.
“The Early Years Quality Fund was put in to boost wages and improve the quality of young children’s education.
“This is another blow to our dedicated and low-paid educators across the child care sector.”