Coalition delivers childcare educators fairer funding
- Assistant Minister for Education
The Coalition will support the professional development of childcare educators with a new programme replacing Labor’s flawed and inequitable Early Years Quality Fund (EYQF), Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley announced today.
Ms Ley said the programme would be open to all long day care educators (LDC) and would be delivered using uncommitted funds from the EYQF.
Ms Ley also announced today she would formally invite the 16 operators with signed funding agreements under the EYQF to “do the right thing” and join the professional development programme so the entire $300 million was available for all LDC educators.
“Despite Labor’s promises of better wages and improved educational opportunities, 70 per cent of long day care workers couldn’t receive a dollar from the ALP’s $300 million fund. That is hardly equitable and created a pay war instead,” Ms Ley said.
“Unlike Labor, the Coalition is genuinely committed to delivering better education opportunities and working conditions in the childcare and early learning sector.
“That’s why this new programme will specifically target professional development opportunities that will provide improved access to childcare and early learning career paths for educators.
“This will in turn help retain staff in the sector and meet the improved education standards required under the National Quality Framework.
“This is shaping up to be the biggest public investment in professional development in the childcare sector’s history. I encourage all operators to recognise this once in a generation opportunity to improve the skills of some of our lowest paid workers.”
She also announced today that $30 million from the professional development program would be guaranteed towards additional training support for educators working with disadvantaged and vulnerable children.
Ms Ley said this was delivering on the Coalition’s promise to retain any uncommitted funds from the EYQF in the childcare portfolio.
Ms Ley said there were about 52,000 full-time equivalent positions in the LDC sector that were eligible under the new programme and would ensure a fair and equal allocation for each one.
Ms Ley said eligible professional development examples included covering the cost of educational courses, industry conferences and learning resources.
She said the fund would also support operators by helping to cover staff replacement costs while they were undertaking professional development activities.
Ms Ley said providers would not have to submit an EBA to access the funds as was the case under Labor’s EYQF.