Australia’s early childhood educators celebrate the next step in their campaign for quality childcare with the release this morning of the guidelines for the implementation of the Early Years Quality Fund.
The Minister for Early Childhood, Childcare and Youth, Kate Ellis, made the announcement this morning surrounded by excited educators, relieved to finally be on the path towards the professional wages which are essential for a quality early childhood education and care sector that meets children’s needs.
Michael Crosby, National President of United Voice says “The Early Years Quality Fund is critical to slowing down the exodus of educators from early childhood education and care.
Every week 180 educators leave the sector, driven away by the poverty level wages.
This cannot be allowed to continue.
“This funding will deliver better quality care for hundreds of thousands of Australian children,” says Michael Crosby.
Early childhood educator Amy Bell (pictured above) says, “The $300 million Fund is a historic first step towards professional pay for educators like me.
“It will provide thousands of my fellow educators with a pay increase of $3 - $5 per hour until 2015, without increasing fees for parents.
“This recognition of my professional skills and qualification gives me hope that professional wages are a possibility for 100% of our sector,” says Amy Bell.
Michael Crosby says “The next step to a truly professional sector was taken on Monday when United Voice lodged the Big Steps Case with the Fair Work Commission for professional wages for the whole sector.
“This process is expected to take 12 to 18 months, which is why the Fund is so important to retaining existing educators in the sector,” says Michael Crosby.