Supporting the independent education community

Education for youngest members of society remains undervalued

The IEUA NSW/ACT Branch is disappointed by the Federal Government’s announcement that it will only provide a one year extension to funding for the National Partnership on Universal Access to Early Childhood Education.

Despite overwhelming evidence on the benefits of early childhood education, the government continues to provide piecemeal funding to the sector, leading to uncertainty.

“It is impossible for early learning providers to plan and invest in quality education and staff when they do not know what their funding will be from one year to the next,” IEUA NSW/ACT Branch Industrial Officer Verena Heron said.

“Underfunding in the early childhood sector persists even though research has shown time and again that the education a child receives at ages two, three, and four is equally important to that which she receives at ages eight, 12 or 14,” Heron said.

“Successive governments have treated early childhood education as no more than ‘babysitting’ and failed to provide adequate long term funding.

“We know that early childhood education provided by a university qualified teacher leads to better long term benefits for young children. IEU is mounting an equal pay case with the Fair Work Commission to argue that early childhood teachers should be paid the same wage as school teachers.

“At the moment, early childhood teachers earn up to $30,000 a year less than their counterparts with the same qualifications working in primary schools.

“We hope the Fair Work Commission will support our argument that early childhood teachers have been historically underpaid because they are mostly women,” Heron said.

For more details on the equal pay case, see our website link here.