50,000+ LDC educators benefit from professional development investment
- Assistant Minister for Education
More-than 50,000 long day care educators will benefit from the largest-ever government investment in professional development for the sector, Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley announced today.
The Abbott Government’s $200 million Long Day Care Professional Development Programme (LDCPDP) supports LDC services with the cost of training and upskilling their educators. This includes specific support for early childhood teachers and regional, rural and remote services to address respective skill shortages.
Ms Ley said the strong uptake further demonstrated the commitment of both the sector and the government to delivering high-quality education and care for Australian families.
Ms Ley said it also backed the Abbott Government’s decision to redistribute Labor’s Early Years Quality Fund (EYQF) equitably amongst the sector after an independent report found the controversial Labor fund would have benefited only one-third of long day care educators.
“The long day care sector has worked hard in recent years to improve quality and meet the requirements of the National Quality Framework and we want to ensure that investment continues,” Ms Ley said.
“However, unlike Labor, we also understand this increase in quality costs money to implement and maintain at a time when many services are already struggling to keep their prices down.
“In fact, a report by the national regulator found the average ongoing cost of administering the National Quality Framework was $140,000 per year for a long day care centre with 15 educators and 75 places.
“The Government’s $200 million commitment is aimed at helping long day care services deliver high-quality education and care for families by ensuring they can afford to train and educate their staff as part of these higher quality standards, as well as cover the cost of backfilling positions while they’re off the floor.”
Ms Ley said about 54,000 educators in total were expected to benefit from the LDCPDP, with funding offers being made from today.
Ms Ley also attributed part of the significant uptake to the Abbott Government’s commitment to a fair and streamlined application process, compared with Labor’s rushed ‘first-in, first-served’ approach that only gave services two business days to prepare applications.
“It’s important to remember the vast majority of long day care educators would never have received one cent if this money was allowed to continue to be funnelled into Labor’s dodgy union slush fund,” she said.
“At the end of the day this is about equitable access to professional development support for long day care educators and this fantastic result demonstrates it’s achievable without the need for a union card.”
The LDCPDP replaces Labor’s controversial EYQF, which was shut down after being found by an independent PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) report to be a vehicle for union recruitment that would have seen 70 per cent of long day care educators unable to access the funding.