Supporting the independent education community

Early childhood teachers: 'Why I deserve a pay rise'

As IEU's equal remuneration case for early childhood teachers begins, early childhood teachers have been speaking from the heart and workplace on why they deserve a pay rise. 

1. Dori
How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 25 years

Why I deserve a pay rise I have completed four years of university education equivalent to other teachers. It has cost me the same to attend university. I am a Proficient Teacher and am required to pay for annual registration as well as Professional development to maintain my accreditation status. Early Childhood brain development is crucial to future success at school and employment. Early Childhood development and education lays the foundation for ongoing lifelong learning and success. My husband is a high school teacher and our work is of an equal importance. We also face the same workload and challenges, including: working towards outcomes; monitoring and documenting progress; planning for individual and groups of children; the responsibility of children’s wellbeing and safety; collaborating with families and other professionals; attending staff meetings and professional development, etc.


2. Leanne

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 12 years


Why I deserve a pay rise I cannot understand how NSW Health and many private operators can get away with underpaying child care teachers up to $10 an hour compared to high quality organisations such as KU & TAFE children’s services.


3. Lizzie

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 40 years


Why I deserve a pay rise…The bottom line really is that I have the same qualification as my counterparts in Primary Schools. Teachers are teachers - simple. I could, and have taught in both Primary Schools and Preschools. I chose to make my career in Early Childhood.


Apart from this fact, my role, when a Preschool Director, has often equated more to a Principal's role - in dealing on so many levels with issues such as: staffing, funding, finances, governance, industrial relations, legal and constitutional matters, government legislation, community involvement...the list goes on.

All this, in addition to the education and nurturing of those children in my care, their welfare and that of their families and my staff members.


4. Carmen

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 36


Why I deserve a pay rise… We are working with very young children who require constant care and attention. Development during these years occurs at a much greater rate, and in a very individualised way, requiring more ongoing and one to one programming to suit each child’s needs. Early childhood accreditation requirements have required greater documentation and interactions with parents/carers which involves not only having knowledge on child development but also family psychology. All this requires greater holistic knowledge as well as consuming time in and out of working hours. We also recognise the importance of providing a more educational environment for children of this age group than we did in the past.


This has been recognised by regulations insisting on increased training for teachers being present while children are in attendance and increased training for all staff who are involved with children in early learning centres. As well as this there has been the additional requirement for maintaining teacher accreditation with ongoing training. This now adds to the cost of maintaining teaching requirements. Remuneration needs to be with consideration of other occupations who make the same demands on their working conditions.


5. Sharon

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 25 years

Why I deserve a pay rise… I am a professional who educates children at a critical stage in their development. I have the same qualification and HECS debt as a teacher working in the school systems and have done the same work to gain the degree. I am required to follow a national curriculum to program for the children each day. I am required to meet many regulatory requirements as set out in the National Regulation 2011. I am an accredited teacher who must complete a certain amount of training each year to remain current and accredited.


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6. Sara

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 25 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… I have a four year Bachelor degree in early childhood education which enables me to work in both the early childhood and the primary education sector. I deliberately chose to work in early childhood as I believe strongly these are children’s formative years.


Working with children below school age also means intensive work with their families and their immediate community. Why is this deemed to be less worthy than working in a school setting? The work early childhood teachers do in their communities is essential for young children’s growth, wellbeing and ability to participate in their community, engendering life long valuable skills.


The whole cycle of a child’s education is equally important in varied ways but the experiences of the very early years leave the deepest impression on the function of the human brain. Early childhood teachers are essential in this period of growth and development.


7. Julia

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 30 + years


Why I deserve a pay rise…My responsibilities as director of a community based preschool based in rural NSW are just as great, if not greater than my counterparts in principal roles and yet they are remunerated higher even though we both have teaching degrees.

Teachers are teachers, regardless of whether we teach in the early years, mid years or beyond.

With global research pointing to the life long benefits of early childhood education and with the Assessment and Rating system introduced across Australia supporting the employment of Early Childhood Teachers, our wages should reflect the importance and responsibility of our teaching rather than reflecting an experienced baby sitter.

Early childhood teachers weave the tapestry of education throughout the communities, supporting families and carers together with the children they teach, just as their counterparts in schools do and like our counterparts we deserve to be remunerated at the same level.


8. Brenda
How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 15 years


Why I deserve at pay rise... Because while I know how valuable my work with children is, how fulfilling the recognition that I am considered an equal professional to those teaching in schools through pay parity would be. I too have a 4 year degree, am accredited under the same authority, and work within a regulated and quality focused framework. I commit to ongoing professional development and reflection to achieve the best outcomes for children and families. But more than anything, a pay rise for me recognises that children aged 0-6 deserve an education as much as those aged 6-18, and secure access to the best teachers possible in the future.


9. Lyn
How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 20 years

Why I deserve at pay rise... I undertake long hours as a teaching/director and the pay rate does not reflect this. As an Early Childhood Teacher our legal obligations to families and children are as much if not more than a primary school teacher. We also pay yearly accreditation fees under the same expectations as a primary trained teacher. I have also had the same amount of training as a primary teacher.


10. Melinda
How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 22 years

Why I deserve a pay rise… I have specialised skills and knowledge in children’s development, providing education to young children, early identification of learning and behavioural difficulties, and supporting children to be valued and competent citizens. The work I do sets children and families up for positive and successful experiences at school and beyond, which has broad benefits to the community. I have completed 3 courses of study in education at University level, including a Masters degree, just like many of my colleagues in schools who are principals and school leaders.

When I retire, who will take my place? We are losing great young teachers from the sector because the wages are so poor. And this is at a time when research shows us that we should be investing heavily in early childhood services.




11. Narelle


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 30 years.


Why I deserve a pay rise… In my early years of teaching I worked as a waitress to supplement my income as an Early Childhood Teacher. I was paid more to deliver food to tables than I was to manage our local Preschool. At the time my stepfather asked me “Why don’t you work in hospitality instead of Preschool?” I responded, “because I love Preschool Teaching”. I deserve a pay rise, because after 30 years of teaching, nurturing and caring for our most vulnerable, impressionable and at times challenging citizens, just because I love it, doesn't mean I should be paid less.


Female dominated jobs are likely to have significantly lower rates of pay...Cert 111 educators can be paid as little as $20 p/h while Cert 111 tradies up to $40 p/h.

University qualified Teachers are paid 20% less in preschool than primary school.

There is a lack of value and understanding of the importance of early childhood education, with no realisation of what goes into a quality program.

In Scandinavian countries Early Childhood Teachers are treated, valued and paid the same a doctors, uni lecturers and lawyers. Early Childhood Education is seen as a continuum of learning, equally as important as primary, secondary and tertiary education. From birth - 5 years children learn more than they will learn at any other time in their lives... we need highly qualified and experienced educators and teachers to deliver Early Childhood Education program. The benefits of this are well documented with improved outcomes in school, health, income earning potential for people who received quality early education.

We can't expect parents to pay more in fees, which in some services is well over $100 a day. Our government needs to invest in better funding for Early education and pay parity for those that work in this sector. NSW has the highest fees and lowest participation rates in Australia. Australia is one of the lowest investors in early education of all economically developed countries. This is sad news for our children, families and educators/teachers.


12. Ariane

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 35 + years

Why I deserve a pay rise… I have a four year degree in Early Childhood Education along with other management and education qualifications. I am the Director of a stand-alone community based preschool with a staff of 17. If I was a new graduate I would have the same HECS debt as my peers working in Primary and High school.

As an Early 80’s graduate and a single parent my superannuation is significantly lower than that of my peers in schools as well. After over 35 years working as a teacher and Director I do not have enough superannuation to live “comfortably” let alone sustainably as a self-funded retiree, especially in Sydney I need my family and support system. All things being equal, if I continue working full time, my financial advisor has said I will not be able to afford to retire until I am approximately 76. How is this sustainable physically or mentally or fair just because I chose to be a teacher/Director in Children’s services, to work closely with children, families and our community?

But most importantly I run a service where our primary focus is giving children the opportunities to develop the foundations for their life in all areas, so that they have the best chance to lead a fulfilling, socially responsible, healthy, empathetic and thoughtful life. My role in all of this is to think broadly, thoughtfully, intelligently, reflectively and at a high level to ensure that I am meeting the needs of the children, families, staff, community and wider society within individual, community, societal, regulatory and legislative frameworks.


We have achieved pay parity through several EA's supported by the IEU and through negotiation and careful budgeting. This has meant we can attract and retain qualified staff who feel valued for the very important job they do.


13. Gabrielle

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 35 years

Why I deserve a pay rise…The first five years of life have been recognised through research to be the most important learning time for children. Investing in degree qualified teachers means better outcomes for children – outcomes that are still measurable as adults – better levels of literacy, numeracy and sociability, better qualifications, better jobs, less delinquency, less teenage pregnancies.

I am doing one of the most important jobs in society. We are losing the people who can make a difference. We are degree qualified, accredited professionals. If you spend the money at this end, you will spend way less at the other end. We have skills, knowledge and expertise in education, child development, how children learn best, their modes of learning to name just a few. We are experts in our field.


14. Alison

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 9 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… Many of my colleagues have been lost to primary teaching. The reason? Less work and more pay. There is an astronomical amount of regulations to follow and be held accountable for, including working knowledge of the national Early Years Learning Framework, the National Quality Standards, documenting children's learning with current knowledge of developmental theories and maintaining teacher proficiency. For two years running an ECT has won the honour of the 'NSW Premier's Teacher Scholarship' drawn from NSW government and non government schools, TAFEs, Colleges and Early Childhood Services. Let's not lose any more remarkable ECTs. Equal Pay!


15. Jenny

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 30 years

Why I deserve a pay rise… 
Research proves that quality early education improves outcomes for children. Those who receive quality early education achieve higher results in NAPLAN. We need to attract and retain quality teachers in early childhood settings to improve education outcomes for students in primary and high school.

Lower wages and less respect compared to primary and high school teaching is one of the reasons we have a shortage of early childhood teachers. It's time to show us the respect we deserve and pay early childhood teachers the equivalent to other teachers.




16. Brigitte


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 16 Years


Why I deserve a pay rise… I do the same workload as a primary school teacher and some days more because of my position of Early Childhood Teacher and 2IC in my service. I also supervise five trainees under me. My abilities to write learning stories on 30 children per month as well as planning and implementing an inviting environment for my 33 children to learn and extend their knowledge on the world they live. I am constantly bombarded with changes in the regulations which require me to adjust my teaching practises. I do deserve a pay rise.


17. Julia

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 30+ years


Why I deserve a pay rise… My primary school colleagues acknowledge, value and respect my skills and knowledge in the early years. They seek my advice, respect and value the knowledge, expertise and specialist skills I share as an early childhood teacher. We collaborate as educational professionals. Why? Because teachers are teachers regardless of what age group is in our classroom.


18. Chris


Why I deserve a pay rise… We deserve a pay rise because we are doing equivalent work to teachers in schools. For teachers heading closer to retirement like me the effect is compounded because lower wages have meant less ability to save for retirement or to put into superannuation. For those at the start of their career they can see that this will add up to a big difference in superannuation by the time they retire, again compared to teachers in school systems.


19. Jan


We deserve a pay rise... because like any other teachers, we had completed a degree in teaching or education, which means that we are as qualified as the teacher that chose to work in a primary school setting.


We are committed and as families’ first partners in teaching and caring for their children, we take pride in our role as we help them in laying the foundation for learning. Our work starts earlier than 8 am and it usually doesn't end when we close our door at 6.30. Most of us, early childhood teachers who work in a long day care setting usually take our unfinished work home because there is usually not enough time for us to finish all of our paperwork whilst at work.

So what do we do? We, dedicated educators, either start very early, on the following day or we stay up late, to finish that ‘day diary’ that we have yet to email or upload (in storypark) for our children’s family to read. Aside from this daily documentation, we also write up children’s half yearly and end of year summary report. Then, we sit down with most families to give them advice on how to further develop their children’s confidence, concentration, language, independence, resilience, fine motor skills, turn taking skills and/or how to incorporate a healthy diet. We do all this and more because we are committed to providing a better future for the next generation. Also, I ask that we get given this pay rise and the recognition that we truly deserve because we are losing a lot of amazing teachers who are choosing to cross over into primary teaching; this is because of the massive difference in our pay and the poor work/family balance that we get whilst working in early education.


20. Lyn


Number of Years Working as an Early Childhood Teacher: 31


Why I deserve a pay rise... I am a professional teacher working in a community preschool within a school. I have completed the same training as my colleagues working in the primary school. I am also the Principal of the preschool. I am responsible for the education and welfare of all the children enrolled in my centre - 85 children. I develop and implement 45 individual learning plans daily. I assess children and programme for their individual needs. I am also responsible for nine other staff members. I complete individual reports for parents and portfolios every term. I am responsible for ensuring that each child’s developmental needs are supported including referring children to specialists and identifying children with additional needs to ensure that they receive the necessary support needed before they commence formal schooling. I am responsible for ensuring that I meet all legislation and regulations that governs a community preschool (Early Years Learning Framework, National Standards, National Regulations and Law). I have to implement a National Curriculum and have Learning Outcomes that the children must meet prior to formal schooling. I have the responsibility to support children’s emotional and social development so that they can commence schooling with the ability to work as a co-operative team member as well as to be able to attend to tasks and to be able to commence schooling with essential basic skills e.g. well developed fine and gross motor skills, social and language skills.

I have to maintain my professional development the same as a teacher in primary school or high school which involves completing 100 hours of professional development over five years. I am accountable to the Department of Education for my programme, curriculum and individual records for my centre.

I continue to work in this profession as I value early childhood education and when I commenced my teaching there was no difference in pay between a preschool teacher and a primary school teacher. Both disciplines are essential in order to support the development and capabilities of an individual child. I chose early childhood as I consider the most important years of a child’s life is the early years due to the greatest growth in brain development during this time. Excellent early childhood teachers can make a difference in a child’s development which reduces costs in support and education later in a child’s life. I have so many real life stories from parents that were grateful for my professional judgement in ensuring that their child received additional support prior to school as this made a difference in their child’s school life. For many years I have had children commence preschool with no or limited language only to commence schooling speaking in sentences and to have nearly age appropriate language skills. Preschool teachers also work very hard on inclusive practices which also supports better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children. The early years are where social skills are formed and preschool teachers can make a difference.

I am a passionate, committed and professional early childhood teacher working many hours beyond the hours that I work face to face to ensure that my children under my care receive the best outcomes in life before they commence formal schooling.

Under the National Regulations is is essential to have an early childhood teacher in a centre however it is becoming extremely difficult to attract high quality, committed early childhood teachers due to the discrimination faced between our two specialities.


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21. Evie


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 19 years


Why I deserve a pay rise…


I am embarrassed that my friends say I work harder than anyone they know and are aware that my pay does not reflect this.


I am embarrassed that my brother at the age of 17 earned more than I did in a traineeship than I did after 10 years in the industry.


I am embarrassed that that I earned more (more than double) working overseas as a governess.


I am embarrassed that as a single professional I am unable to afford a loan for a home.


I am deeply saddened by the exit of incredible teachers from the industry due to burnout and lack of recognition for what we do.


However, I am after all these years still passionate about my role. I am fortunate to work for a wonderful organisation and be supported by a high quality team. I know that’s incredibly rare these days, let’s not lose this and ensure we’re retaining and acknowledging Early Childhood is where it all begins!



22. Antonella

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 18 years

Why I deserve a pay rise…

I simply deserve to be paid the same pay scales as primary and secondary teachers.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood) but have been financially disadvantaged for selecting to choose my passion for the early childhood profession. This passion has not paid off long term. A bitter taste lies in my mouth when I think of the eighteen full time years I have missed out on equal pay - how big is that financial gap?


23. Amanda


How long I've worked in early childhood education: 35 years


Why I deserve a pay rise... Like my school based contemporaries I have completed a 4 year degree, I have also completed a Masters program. I am invested in the earliest years of children's lives and make a difference to those children and their families and to the future of our country. Everyday I have a role in educating children as a teacher and after work teaching Early Childhood university students about the importance of high quality, teacher lead curriculums. As a teacher I teach children to engage in aspects of education such as STEM, and have done so for 35 years. These are our future engineers and I am their teacher!


24. Rachel.

Why I deserve a pay rise... I am a dedicated teacher who puts 150% in to my job educating the children in my care as most people working in early childhood do. I spent 4 years full time at university, and I spend many hours outside of my paid work hours doing in service training. I do most of my programming, observation, parent meetings, staff meetings, developmental reports and discussions with other professionals in my own unpaid time. I also purchase a lot of resources. Overall, I am finding it increasingly difficult to make ends meet, especially living in Sydney. I may be forced to leave this profession for practical reasons even though I do believe in the importance of well qualified people educating young children.

I have also seen many well qualified, experienced teachers leave this industry which is a real shame. A pay rise and improvement in conditions will help to retain good quality teachers.


25. Samantha 


How long I've worked in early childhood education: 30 years


Why I deserve a pay rise... I have worked in the early childhood industry educating young children 2 - 6 years for 30 years in various roles - teacher and director.

Over the years the expectations have changed drastically. Far more accountability, and paper work above our already very important role of educating, caring, nurturing an increasingly complex and diverse community. In a day we could be asked to fulfil roles like counselling- children, parents and staff, teacher, nurse, referral person, advisor, law enforcer, gardener, building maintainer, cleaner, just to name a few.

I love my job as a professional educator. I feel we should be respected as one.




26. Pamela


How long I've worked in early childhood education: 35 years


Why I deserve a pay rise... I have worked as an early childhood educator for over seven years at various centres in country N.S.W. I am embarrassed by the level of pay we as educators receive as I believe that the industry would attract an even higher level of dedicated and motivated educators were the pay rates to increase. I believe that attitudes in the community towards early childhood educators reflect and are based on assumptions about what we provide to the children and families at our service but I doubt that the community is aware of just how much preparation, programming and continual professional development is undertaken by us quite aside from the actual implementation of the service. In many countries other than ours the critical role of early childhood educators is valued and respected because it is recognised as being the most important part and time in a child's development. What we do, say and how we respond, respect and value children at this age will deeply impact who they become as adults. This is why I choose to do what I do although my pay packet is only marginally better than the average old age pension offerings!


27. Meredith


How long I've worked in Early Childhood: 33 years


Why I deserve a pay rise... Working as an early childhood teacher requires high skill levels to support children and families to achieve the best outcomes at the most important developmental stage of education. To become an early childhood teacher requires degree level university qualifications, accountability to the Department of Education, and accreditation alongside teachers in schools. The demands on EC teachers in the field are wide ranging and highly complex. At the beginning of my career I was paid in line with other teachers, and despite increasing professionalism and the development of higher quality curriculums, I am now paid far less. Is this fair?


28. Donna


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 38 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… Over the years I have worked in the early childhood sector, the requirements on teachers in terms of legal and financial responsibility and documentation has increased significantly. ECT’s in Directors roles are required to take on huge responsibility similar to that of Principals in schools and this comes with a huge emotional cost as they take financial and legal responsibility even when not present in the space. Documentation requirements far outweigh time allowed in the classroom and teacher accreditation whilst a positive move, requires mandated hours of professional development that were previously a personal choice. I believe that these additional regulatory requirements should be met with the appropriate remuneration and recognition of the vital role that early childhood teachers play in educational outcomes for children.


29. Kazza


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 30 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… As a teacher and Preschool Director with a Bachelor degree I have the same qualification and do the same workload as a teacher or even a deputy principal yet have never been paid at the same rate as colleagues working in a school environment. Our work has increased over the last few years with no increase in wages and no value placed on what we do. I have always felt early childhood teachers have not been valued and yet we work with children and develop their skills at the most optimal time of their lives. Value us before we become extinct!


30. Jing


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 3 years


Why I deserve a pay rise…

I have a degree like other teachers do.


I work as hard as other teachers do.


I have as many documentations as other teachers do.


Why don’t I get paid as other teachers do?


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31. Chris

I started my career as high school art teacher, which I loved 37 years ago but questioned why a child would switch off from enjoying learning, so at the age of 26 I retrained in early childhood and learned of the importance of a humans first years from conception. The child forms the person they are becoming. There is so much knowledge from observation and research.


We can only provide the best teachers for Early Childhood if they can afford to live in their communities.

The child and their families need consistent care and support as they embark upon their journey as a family.

Early Childhood Teachers provide the child love and security, the ability to become independent, the ability to make healthy food and lifestyle choices, education for good mental health and have the ability to provide families real community involvement. Most importantly the Early Childhood Teacher help the child to develop socially, to communicate well and with respect and to develop their own individual interests.

The foundation years must be strong to develop healthy humans.

If a healthy society is our aim the money should be spent where the greatest outcomes are possible.

To attract the best of teachers we absolutely need equal pay.

I know that I am underpaid for what I do.

I hope we have a successful campaign.


32. S



How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 25 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… Early childhood teachers have studied for four years at university, spent many hours and often a large amount of our own income to further our own professional development. I spend an average of $1500+ per year on conferences, seminars, journal subscriptions, and many many hours of unpaid personal time, in order to ensure I am following current practice in line with educational research. I would like to be valued and acknowledged as the professional - dare I say, specialist - teacher that I am. A significant aspect of such acknowledgement is to be paid accordingly. Conditions of work - hours of shifts, holidays, benefits, resources - are some of the other aspects to be considered, along with community recognition of Early Childhood Teachers as more than 'babysitters'. I believe recognition as professionals begins with being paid as professionals. Then we can address the other issues.


35. Jess


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 6 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… I deserve a pay rise because I teach to the same standards as primary teachers, I perform the same tasks as primary teachers, adhere to the same regulations as primary teachers and completed a four year university degree qualifying me to teach both primary and early childhood age groups. So why am I paid less for choosing one particular age group over the other, even though I would use the same qualification to teach in either age group? Because the age group I chose to teach has an incredibly low male participation rate for teachers and because the education of the age group I chose to teach is viewed as unimportant. A five year old child’s education is no less important than a six year old child’s education!


Teachers are teachers!


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36. Mrs C


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 8 years


Why I deserve a pay rise... I am so poorly paid that in winter I cannot afford to use a heater.


37. Sandy


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 31 years

Why I deserve a pay rise... I have a Bachelor of Teaching Birth to 5 years Degree and 31 years of experience in early childhood yet receive similar wages to a 1st year graduate with no experience who is working in a School. I have 4 weeks annual leave per year as opposed to 13 weeks for school teachers. I program for the children that I educate and follow Learning Outcomes the same as school teachers do. I work with other professional people i.e psychologists, speech therapists, etc and have to write reports etc for them. My work load is comparable to that of school teachers and I work an eight hour day. I also do a lot more physical care for children, and manual work in relation to their education. e.g carrying and setting up equipment on a daily basis.

38. Erin

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 5 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… I love my career as a teacher, I love being able to teach children, assist them in their learning and development and watch as they grow and discover their world. As early childhood teachers we teach and support children in their fundamental learning years, a child continually building a tower out of blocks may go on to become an engineer and an early childhood teacher has fostered that ability. Early childhood teachers are not babysitters, we are teachers, careers, doctors, nurses, scientists, referees, conflict resolution experts, mathematicians, magicians, psychologists, we are everything we need to be to support children in their learning journey.


39. Sarah


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 15 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… I deserve a pay rise because although my four year university degree has cost me the same amount as that of a school teacher, I earn 30% less than a school teacher. Like school teachers I regularly work at home to keep up with regulatory demands. The responsibility and stress associated with my field of work should be recognised and remunerated fairly. Early childhood teachers can earn more money stacking shelves at Woolworths. It’s time for a pay rise.


40. Elizabeth


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 39 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… I am a trained teacher who not only holds a teaching degree but also a Masters degree. I am well trained, knowledgeable and constantly update my practice with seminar attendance. I am a strong advocate for the needs and education of young children. The years of early childhood are formative for the rest of a human's life. This is where we learn to socialise, regulate emotions and learn through guided discovery and exploration. I have watched my primary school teacher colleagues, who have the same (or less) training than me earn more than 30% more salary year after year. This is not correct or fair.





41. Alma

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 11 years

Why I deserve a pay rise… Teachers working in preschools and childcare centres have the same university qualifications as primary school teachers, a Bachelor’s degree. The importance of access to high quality learning to foster children’s optimal development in the early years has been demonstrated in many studies. NSW recognises this, hence it is compulsory for all NSW Early Childhood Teachers to be accredited through the NSW Educations Standards Authority (NESA) and their work has to comply with the high standards of the Early Years Framework, Australia’s early learning curriculum. It’s time early childhood teachers were viewed and paid as teachers, not nannies!


42. Gwen

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 23 years


Why I deserve a pay rise…I don’t just ‘work’ in early childhood, I’ve dedicated my life to it. I live it, breathe it, love it.

I manage my service (all aspects of it) as well as teach, ensuring we offer high quality early childhood education and care programs.

I know our children and families intimately. I also constantly upskilling through professional development opportunities

I am a real teacher but get no recognition of our qualifications, skills or dedication – yet I work with the most important and vulnerable age group (3-5 year olds) that exist.


43. Merri


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 38 years



Why I deserve a pay rise… I value myself as an Early Childhood Teacher and believe that we make an incredible difference to children’s and family lives in the early childhood field.


Significant studies indicate the importance of and the benefits of education in the optimum learning years of 0-8years.


As an early childhood teacher /director with the same level of training and with more experience as most of my peers in school systems I feel I should be respected,


appreciated, and financially acknowledged for the education and care that we provide.


In our supported preschool learning environment we educate our children In a way that individually develops their learning , their interest in and the love of information


whilst developing their social relationships and promoting the role of families within their child’s development.


Early childhood teachers play a valuable role in education - please value us!


44. Neeta


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 14 years

Why I deserve a pay rise… I have completed 4 years of university to receive my qualification. I have to complete a teacher registration and maintain my accreditation just like my primary and secondary counterparts. I have more contact hours per day with my students with less non-contact hours per week than my primary and secondary counterparts. I provide opportunities for early intervention for additional needs for successful lifelong learning. I am responsible for the health, wellbeing and learning development of each child to ensure they can begin formal schooling with the best possible start.

45. Brigitte

How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 19 years


Why I deserve a pay rise… Because I did a 4 year degree like my primary and high school teaching peers, maintain accreditation and registration, do research in practice, read, continue training, care so much about the children and are called a professional yet I am not paid or respected as one.


I can make the most difference into the future in the most amazing and sensitive time of growth and learning that can change the world and have done so for almost two decades. Teaching in the early years can be a wonderful joy but so many talented teachers are rewarded to leave the sector where less emotional, physical and intellectual labour to do your best in a challenging role every day means an easier life. However, the sector deserves my colleagues and I for many more years yet. We are worth our weight in gold.


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46. Christina


How long I’ve worked in early childhood education: 30 years


Why I deserve a pay rise…  The inconsistency of pay difference is deplorable on all accounts. Early childhood professionals work the same hours if not more than some primary school teachers. It is crucial that children who are entering formal education receive an introduction that attracts the most dedicated teachers as this is the foundation for many years of learning. We are the soil that enables and nourishes young minds to reach their full potential. I have worked in a variety of services from Long day care through to now teaching in an Independent school. I am paid what the other teachers in the primary years are. I feel more than fortunate to receive equal pay. I shouldn’t feel ‘fortunate’ when I know I deserve it! My hardworking fellow early childhood teachers should be recognised for their worth. If we are to expect the highest quality in our teachers then we have to start paying them equally. It’s time. We surely have to question and ponder why we are loosing early childhood teachers at an alarming rate. They are moving to other careers or moving into primary school.



I deserve to be paid as a teacher, I am a teacher, a university qualified teacher with 15 years teaching experience and deserve to be paid as such. I love my job and am proud of what I do but love does not pay my bills and my family deserves more. Research supports the importance and benefits of quality education for children in the early years and it is time that our profession is recognised for this. We are teachers, qualified teachers not babysitters. The time is now for pay parity with school teachers. Teachers are teachers.

Thank you.


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