Big Steps - Value Our Future: a campaign for professional pay.
Everyone agrees that a child’s mind is just as valuable at the age of three as it is at the age of six. It's why every stage of a child’s education is invaluable – whether they are learning to count or solving a year six maths question.
Yet as early childhood educators we are paid a third less than those teaching and caring for children just a few years older.
A responsible government that values every child would value every educator.
It is time for our wages to reflect the essential role we have in shaping the futures of Australian children.
What happened to Quality Matters?
We won the Quality Matters campaign.
With the election of the Abbott Government in 2013, ratios and qualifications came under threat.
A loss of the National Quality Framework (NQF) would not only have meant poorer outcomes for children, but it would have undermined our push for professional wages.
We needed to defend the NQF, to safeguard the progress we had made in the early childhood and education sector and ensure that our fight for professional wages wasn't undermined by sliding standards.
Our fight was relaunched as Quality Matters - a Big Steps campaign.
We lobbied politicians across the country, spoke with the media, attended the Productivity Commission, and networked with parents and the community.
Our work paid off - $3.5 billion was secured for the sector in the form of the Families Package. Scott Morrison, the Minister for Social Services at the time, declared the debate settled and the NQF safe. (Got questions about the Families Package? Find the FAQ here.)
Now with a new PM, Malcolm Turnbull, early childhood education and care has been moved back into the education portfolio - exactly where it should always be. We have a new minister - Simon Birmingham, a senator for South Australia.
It is time for the Big Steps campaign again, and so we have relaunched our fight for professional recognition: Big Steps - Value Our Future.