Goodstart, Australia’s largest early learning provider and a proud not-for-profit, has been awarded the prestigious title of ‘Employer of Choice’ in The Australian Business Awards 2023.
The Australian Business Award for Employer of Choice recognises organisations that develop leading workplaces that maximise the full potential of their workforce through established policies and practices that demonstrate effective employee recruitment, engagement and retention.
This recognition underscores Goodstart’s commitment to fostering a supportive and empowering workplace environment for more than 15,000 educators, teachers, and early learning professionals who positively shape the lives of 63,000 children across 661 communities each and every day.
Goodstart Chief Executive Officer Dr Ros Baxter said she was thrilled about the recognition of Goodstart’s commitment and investment in supporting and empowering its people.
“Our people are at the heart of everything we do. We believe that investing in our team members contributes directly to the positive outcomes we achieve for the children and families we serve,” Ros said.
“Our shared vision that Australia’s children have the best possible start in life is the key to our strong, child focused culture.
“We place a priority on supporting and recognising our people for their life-changing work, as they make the difference in children’s lives, helping to build the foundations for lifelong learning and success.
“This award is a testament to our teams’ commitment to provide a nurturing, inclusive, and fulfilling workplace where our employees can thrive.
“We listen deeply to our people and take action to seize opportunities and address challenges. This includes changing the way we work to provide our teams with increased non-contact time, flexible work arrangements and training and support.
“Despite on-going financial pressures caused by the COVID epidemic and the recent increases in the cost of living impacting on our budgets, in July, centre-based Goodstarters received the biggest pay rise in our organisation’s history."
The not-for-profit has also expanded benefits such as employer-funded paid parental leave, increased childcare discounts, added rostered personal wellbeing days, and comprehensive support for employees.
Dr Baxter said the pandemic had been extremely challenging for centre teams, who were on the front-line, keeping centres open so essential workers could continue to do their jobs.
"Goodstart’s priority was the safety and wellbeing of Goodstarters as our educators, teachers and cooks continued to provide vital care and education. We were proud to have received a national safety award recognising the work Goodstarters did to keep each other safe and well.”
Goodstart continues to focus on employee diversity by offering traineeships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators and fostering communities of practice for underrepresented groups. Goodstart has also adopted a new support model for its centre teams, empowering leaders through a coaching approach.
Goodstart’s employee value proposition is anchored by ‘supporting you in making a difference.’ From informal thank you campaigns to improving working conditions – their value proposition and strategic goal, ‘Amazing Goodstarter Experience,’ keep their people front-in-centre.
Goodstart has a continued focus on providing a healthy work-life balance, security and support, safe, inclusive and welcoming environments, and personal and career opportunities through defined career pathways.
Founded in 2010 as a not-for-profit social enterprise by Mission Australia, The Benevolent Society, The Brotherhood of St Laurence, and Social Ventures Australia, Goodstart was established with a vision to give Australia's children the best possible start in life. Goodstart’s dedication to quality early learning and its impact on children's lives is reflected in our strategic goal of providing an 'Amazing Goodstarter Experience' for their employees.
Learn more about working at Goodstart and what makes Goodstart an Employer of Choice here.
Learn more about the Australian Business Awards here.