Bill Shorten’s childcare commitment: big steps for children, families, educators and Australia
United Voice says the childcare policy announced by the Labor Party today is welcome news for families struggling with increasing fees and for educators fighting for professional wages.
Helen Gibbons, Assistant National Secretary of United Voice, the early childhood union, “The policy announced today by Bill Shorten and Kate Ellis demonstrates that Labor values the education of every child and the contribution of every educator. This sets Australia on a path for a fairer, more affordable and sustainable early education sector.
“The Turnbull Government’s delays on affordability and head in the sand approach on woefully inadequate wages of the overwhelmingly female workforce cannot continue.
“Labor’s commitment to quality education for our youngest children is especially welcome because it recognises that funding and supporting quality early childhood education and care must be a priority for our nation.
“But words are not enough. By improving affordability and accessibility this policy will minimise the chances of children missing out on the lifelong benefits of quality early education.
“On behalf of more than 155,100 early childhood educators United Voice welcomes Labor’s commitment to the workforce, including funding for a development program and a workforce strategy.
“Educators welcome the announcement that Labor will support professional wages with a submission to support educators’ claim for equal pay currently before the Fair Work Commission.
“Educators who teach children up to age of five are paid up to one third less than similarly qualified educators who teach older children.
“Ninety-seven percent of educators are women. They are some of the lowest paid professionals in Australia, many struggling on just $20 an hour or less than $40,000 per year.
“It is not in our children’s or our nation’s interest that this continue,” says Helen Gibbons.
Read ALP's policy here.