Today Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese announced Labor’s budget reply, shining a light on low wages in the early childhood education sector.
Educators have welcomed Labor’s commitments to making early education more affordable for families, a roadmap for universal access to early education, a more stable sector and importantly, a plan to review educator wages.
United Workers Union’s Helen Gibbons said, “Labor’s budget reply recognises the crucial role of early childhood education in our communities and our economy. This is a welcome counterpoint to Scott Morrison’s Federal Budget, which disappointed millions of educators and families with no announcement or recognition for the sector.
“Throughout this pandemic, educators have worked every day to provide quality early education and care while keeping children and communities safe from infection. In response, the Federal Government have left educators out in the cold. Early educators were the first workers cut off from JobKeeper, and the Federal Budget has now doubled down on Scott Morrison’s appalling lack of respect for this female-dominated workforce.
“Labor’s announcement to improve affordability and access to early childhood education will benefit hundreds of thousands of Australian children and families. Making early education more affordable will also go a long way to securing the long term job security of early childhood educators, whose jobs and hours were greatly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This is a move which recognises the central value of early childhood education to the Australian economy and communities, compared to the Federal Government who, once again, have turned their back on the sector.
“United Workers Union commends Labor for recognising that fixing affordability for families is only half of the problem in early childhood education, and committing to review early childhood wages. We know the system is broken for educator wages, who remain insultingly low paid.
“Any parent who has been required to home-school their toddlers this year will tell you that early childhood educators are worth their weight in gold. The future of early childhood education must include a plan about how we finally ensure they are paid what they deserve.”