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Goodstart welcomes Labor commitment to the early years

Government and sector

Australia’s largest not-for-profit provider has welcomed Labor’s commitment to improve child care affordability and fund professional wages for early childhood teachers and educators.

Goodstart Early Learning Chief Executive Officer Julia Davison said Labor’s commitments recognises that the early years are as important as schooling or higher education in setting up children for success and securing our nations future.

 “Making access to early learning and child care more affordable for 75% of families recognises that cost should not be a barrier for children who need it most to access early learning,” Ms Davison said.

“Increasing educators’ wages would support the professional workforce our youngest learners deserve while also ensuring early learning is more affordable for thousands of families.

“These policies build on Labor’s earlier commitment to give all children access to two years of play-based preschool programs in the vital years before they start school.

“The evidence is clear that children from low income families who access quality early learning are better prepared to launch into formal learning at school.

“We welcome Labor’s commitment to urgently review the new child care subsidy system to make sure that vulnerable and low-income families and children aren’t falling through the cracks.

“This needs to be the first priority of government regardless of who is elected, and we are committed to working with the next Government to ensure that child care and early learning is accessible and affordable particularly for low income and vulnerable families.

“As the “Lifting our Game” review to all State and Territory Governments last year recommended, investing in a quality, well supported professional workforce as important in delivering the quality in practice necessary to improve children’s outcomes.

“Goodstart has long recognised the importance of a professional workforce paying over award wages for all educators and teachers and investing heavily in professional development to build workforce capability.

“More needs to be done and providers can’t afford to do it without either increased public investment or unacceptably high increases in fees for families.

“Educators have been waiting a long time for this reform and the sooner it is delivered the better. It is a reform that all sides of politics should support.

“We welcome Labor’s commitment as providing a pathway to long overdue professional wages for our dedicated teachers and educators without increasing costs to parents or providers.

“As the country’s largest early learning and care provider, we are committed to working with Government, unions and other providers to develop the detailed mechanisms to ensure that this funding flows through to wages without increasing parents’ costs or operators margins,” she said.
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