Looking after the people supporting our children
Goodstart’s Advocacy Manager, John Cherry, is proud of the message the new Enterprise Agreement sends about the important role of early learning professionals. Pay increases, family-friendly conditions, and a variety of professional development options …Goodstart’s new 2021 Enterprise Agreement (EA) is good news all around for centre based employees.
“During the negotiations for Goodstart’s new EA, our goal was to ensure teachers and educators feel valued and recognise the critical role they play through providing wages and conditions well above what’s offered in the rest of the sector. I think the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve received – with 94 per cent of the workforce voting in favour of the new EA – shows that we achieved the right outcome.
We consulted widely and worked closely with our people and their representatives to develop an agreement that provides family-friendly benefits; supports educators and teachers to grow their skills in the areas that really matter to them; and provide wage increases that recognise their valuable roles.
For our teachers and educators with family responsibilities, our EA offers a great package among the best in the sector. Under the conditions, there’s a significant discount on early learning fees for employees whose children attend Goodstart centres, along with flexible work arrangements, and employer funded paid parental leave of up to four weeks. All these benefits help create a work environment where our people know that not only are they valued as educators and teachers but supported in their home life as well.
At the core of what our educators do is creating high-quality early learning experiences for children, so Goodstart has put even more emphasis on helping educators be the best they can be. Educators and teachers receive additional non-contact time (upwards of four hours a week for kindergarten teachers), as well as access to best in sector professional development, with $20 million being invested into professional development and research including an online learning hub.
Our educators are able to draw on Goodstart's world class learning resources including our own Practice Guide, developed by some of the most respected early learning professionals in the country, and the Early Years Toolbox which gives educators a suite of resources they can draw on allowing them to have a deeper understanding of a child’s strength, interest and development.
As a parent, I think it is important that early childhood teachers and educators are being given the time and resources they need to support young children’s learning and development.
The wage increases that came into effect on 1 July recognises the critical role our people play in providing high quality early learning by offering rates that are well above the award that applies in the rest of the sector.
We are now very excited to offer graduate teachers wages that are on par with state primary school teachers across the country, but with the opportunity to work in the most critical years for child development. For our educators, they’ll see a wage rise of at least 3 per cent above award, rising to 5 per cent within two years. As a not for profit, Goodstart is in a position to re-invest in our people who make the difference in early learning instead of paying dividends to shareholders.
We have to look after the people looking after our children. These conditions are all significant steps forward in the way we value and recognise early learning professionals, and my hope is the standard we’re setting at Goodstart will be echoed across the sector.