Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Big Steps in childhood services:

More money is needed in early childhood services; reforming the GST may be the only way of getting it.
By Bonita Mersiades
Date: November 16 2012
Editor Rating:

Earlier this year, the Federal Government put in place some changes to early childhood services as part of the National Partnership for Early Childhood Education and Care that was introduced by the Rudd Government and agreed by the nine governments of Australia (Federal and states) in 2008.

The National Partnership commits all governments to achieving what is referred to as ‘universal access’ to early childhood services through the integration of traditional child care as well as early learning and development. The reason for this is the important recognition that longer term child care has a role and an opportunity to educate children as well as care for them in line with international best practice.

The governments also signed-up to making sure that, by next year, every child has access to 15 hours per week of affordable, quality, early childhood programs in the year before full time schooling, for 40 weeks of the year and delivered by a four year university qualified early childhood teacher.

This doesn’t mean young children sit at a desk learning their times table by rote, but they engage in play-based learning skills that develop their cognitive capacity to sit and listen, and their social and emotional capacity to play and share with friends.

In making this shift, the language has changed from ‘child care’ to ‘early childhood education and care’.  The people working in the industry are recognised as ‘educators’  especially in light of the introduction of minimum qualifications for those delivering face to face care and education to children. After all, a four year university qualified teacher is the same standard as those employed in schools.

Motherpedia will look at some of these issues in more depth in coming weeks, as well as look at progress in achieving ‘universal access’, but in the meantime the sector is rallying for more funding.

Each week, almost 200 people working in the sector are leaving due to low wages. With governments now requiring four year degree trained teachers, there is a squeeze on appropriately qualified staff in the first place, compounded by the fact that those working in the early childhood sector are paid less than their counterparts elsewhere in education. For example, a Certificate III trained education assistant earns just $18.58 per hour

But where is the money coming from? $1.4 billion is needed to bring salary levels up to parity. Parents and employers can’t afford to pay more. Governments are committed to achieving a Budget surplus. Perhaps the best - if not only - growth option is to look at reforming the GST and the tax system.

You can show your support for early childhood educators by wearing red and joining them in National Big Steps Day around Australia on Saturday.

As well as supporting a relevant cause, families can enjoy a day’s free entertainment. Big Steps Days are taking place in Adelaide, Brisbane, Cairns, Canberra, Darwin, Gladstone, Hobart, Mackay, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.

Play Schoolpresenter Rhys Muldoon will be part of National Big Steps Day in Sydney. 

National Big Steps Day, Saturday 17th November

Find the details for National Big Steps Day in your town or city here

Share This Tweet This Email To Friend
Related Articles
Choice and affordability are the key.
Read more
A rethink is needed on the way tax dollars are…
Read more
Cuts to baby bonus part of savings measures announced by…
Read more
Cry babies

Dry your eyes!
The newest additions are on their way from the Babies who cry real tears!


Latest Tech Used In Shipping Containers
Read how the shipping industry has revolutionised

Motherpedia cover-2

Win 1 set of a 4-book hardcover illustrated boxed set
Barbara Murray’s new 4-book Sound Stories is perfect for parents and educators and could assist with NAPLAN results

Motherpedia cover (4)

Where to celebrate Oktoberfest Australia
Get ready for this celebration!

Motherpedia cover-4

A Fortnight of Foodie Experiences at East Village
A taste of East Village. What's in it for me?

Globber my too fix up cover

We Try: Globber My TOO Fix Up
A scooter that grows with your child

Throw a winning cricket pitch

3 Steps to a Winning Backyard Cricket Pitch
Ex-Adelaide Oval legend curator Les Burdett shares his tips for getting your backyard cricket pitch test match ready this summer

A bike that follows your kids life cycle - motherpedia - cover

A Bike That Follows Your Kids Life Cycle
Check out the Bunzi 2-in-1 gradual balance bike!

Moonlight lifestyle

Moonlight Cinema to bring…
Moonlight Cinema announces brand new Western Sydney venue

Screen shot 2019-11-26 at 8.29.12 am

Your Magical Christmas Wonderland…
Adventure park is about to light up the night sky with its "Christmas Festival of Lights"

Screen shot 2019-11-21 at 11.11.36 am

The Preston Market Gets…
It's time to feel pumped up for the holiday season!


Bunnings team members get…
Help raise funds by buying a snag or donating at your local store.