Greens win cost of living support push for early childhood workers


In the same week the Fair Work Commission has told women to wait for another year while it considers whether feminised industries need a pay rise, the ACT Greens have today secured the support of the Legislative Assembly to address underlying factors behind a shortage in early childhood educators.  

“We need to ensure the best possible education and care for our children from the very start,” said Laura Nuttall MLA, the ACT Greens’ spokesperson for education.  

“This means supporting parents and carers, and it also means supporting our early childhood educators to provide this essential service.  

“To ensure quality and affordable care for local kids, early childhood educators aren’t just a means to an end. They are a skilled, highly valued and essential part of our community.  

“It’s critical we support people to get started and stay in this important work.” 

Miss Nuttall’s motion has seen the Legislative Assembly agree the ACT Government should: 

  • Support and expand fee-free TAFE places for early childhood courses 
  • Work with the Commonwealth Government to extend the fee-free TAFE program to temporary visa holders  
  • Advocate to the Commonwealth Government to expand paid placements to students studying diplomas and Certificate III’s, not just degrees  
  • Review with a view to increasing the number of scholarships awarded under the Early Childhood Degree Scholarship Program  
  • Boost financial support to employers who need to backfill educators who are undertaking professional development 
  • Collaborate with service providers and peak bodies no navigate increased demand for early childhood education and care  
  • Develop a pathway for teachers already in the field to achieving Highly Accomplished and Lead Teacher (HALT) certification, in recognition of their expertise and the positive impact they have on the organisation. 

“Early childhood education is an incredibly important career and can be an incredibly rewarding one. Unfortunately, like many historically women-dominated industries, the sector hasn’t seen the care, investment and recognition it deserves,” Miss Nuttall said. 

“By tangibly and meaningfully investing in our early childhood education and care sector, we are helping both primary carers and existing early childhood educators and teachers to provide kids a high-quality play-based learning environment that develops their emotional, cognitive and social skills.  

“We will do this by placing the early childhood educators at the centre of our efforts, by comprehensively tackling the workforce crisis.  

“We must pull every lever at the ACT Government’s disposal and advocate to the Commonwealth Government to support early childhood educators.” 

Miss Nuttall is available for comment.