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Early Childcare Education needs action, not debate

The Early Childhood Council is calling on the government to not take their eye off the ball while working on the future of education.

“With an Early Childcare Education teacher shortage and widening pay disparity facing our sector today, it’s time for action, not words. You can’t pay teachers in glossy brochures,” said ECC CEO Peter Reynolds.

“It’s great to see ECE issues being taken seriously in the Tomorrow’s Schools review and in National’s Education discussion paper. Our sector has been neglected for too long and slipped behind where it should be and wants to be to deliver first-class early childhood education for our youngest learners.

“Teachers and centre owners are hurting. We need more than just signals of what might happen in the future - we need action in key areas like teacher pay parity now,” said Peter Reynolds.

The ECE sector’s voice has been heard since the first draft of the Tomorrow’s Schools review was released. The second draft is much less disruptive for ECE, while presenting a number of opportunities. However, ECE is not an intentional part of this review, despite its direct impact on our sector. If the child is indeed at the centre of the government’s thinking, we need to seize opportunities to collaborate.

While several areas of National’s discussion paper echo current government policy (such as increased monitoring and spot checks), others signal a reversal in policy from their last term in government (like the return of support for provisionally certificated teachers). Centres will welcome many of the proposals, but will be keen to see the detail and the commitment to support our vital sector.

“There’s a lot of detail to go through and we look forward to representing our members’ views in this debate,” said Peter Reynolds.

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