Recent early education news and updates

In the News

Low-paid ‘women’s work’: why early childhood educators are walking out


March 23, 2018
Susan Irvine, Karen Thorpe, Paula McDonald
The Conversation

Australia’s early childhood educators, including those working in community and private childcare centres, will walk off the job on March 27 to demand better pay. Some centres will be closed for the whole day and parents will be asked to keep their children at home.

This scale of action will no doubt come at a cost to the economy and cause substantial inconvenience to thousands of families. It’s part of a long-running equal pay campaign.

Early childhood educators are among the lowest-paid Australians, with many taking on a second job for a supplementary income. Many leave the sector altogether – with low pay identified as the central reason for doing so. This means the sector loses skilled workers at a time when its workforce should be growing in size.

Many would agree current wage levels don’t reflect the importance of caring for and educating children. Positive outcomes for children’s development and emotional security have significant implications for the welfare of families and future economic prosperity.