United Voice, the Early Childhood Educators union welcomes the Federal Government’s push towards greater fee transparency, however urges the Government to look at low wages in the sector.
United Voice WA Assistant Secretary Karma Lord said the Government must also act on the low pay crisis which is affecting service staffing and fees.
“We support greater fee transparency, and more affordable options for parents, but any Government reform attempt is seriously misguided if it doesn’t address sector funding for higher educator wages.”
Early Childhood workers are amongst the lowest paid professionals in Australia, currently earning half the average national wage.
“Despite the training, qualifications and overall fact they are educating our kids in their most vital developing years, educators are paid as little as $21 an hour.”
While Educators struggle with the low pay, parents are paying up to $170 a day, a figure Ms Lord said is inexcusable.
“Operator wage costs and fee increases are ultimately linked and unfortunately it’s not uncommon for our members to report that their centre’s fee have gone up,”
“They often report centres shifting the blame onto raising wages, when in fact salaries have not shifted in all. It’s a blatant lie.”
Ms Lord said the Federal Government show no respect to Early Childhood Educators.
“The underlying problem is that we have a Federal Government that ignores the research and refuses to truly value the early years of our children, if they did they would fund and fix our services once and for all.”
Early Childhood members will continue to lobby and campaign for better recognition and a professional wage through their Big Steps campaign.