The Greens have announced a Treasury costed scheme today that would help to attract hundreds of teachers into childcare centres around the country, while also encouraging them to stay in the industry.
The scheme would see a year of HELP debt waived for every year that tertiary educated teachers remain in the long day care sector (more information on the scheme is included in the media briefing attached).
“Treasury’s analysis has shown that this scheme is affordable, that it will help to attract highly qualified teachers to the childcare industry and that it will encourage them to stay for longer,” the Greens’ early childhood education and care spokesperson, Senator Sarah Hanson-Young said today.
“It is essential that we keep costs as low as possible to help mums and dads who are struggling to make ends meet and this scheme, which adds to the wages of early childhood teachers, will improve the quality of care without increasing the cost to either centres or parents.
“This is all about keeping the best possible people in the childcare sector, looking after our kids across the nation.
“It is a cost effective scheme and, as a nation, we can’t afford not to invest in our children.
“There is a looming and serious shortage of qualified childhood teachers around Australia and the Greens are doing all they can to help create and support those professionals that the industry so desperately needs.
“The Productivity Commissioner’s report into the childcare industry found that 70% of the 140,000 people caring for our children have minimal training or none at all.
“Currently dozens of childcare workers leave the sector each week, and it’s not surprising when you consider that many people who work in the centres are paid less than those who clean them.
“As parents, we expect that the people caring for and educating our children to be qualified.
“Currently this just isn’t the case and it needs to be fixed.
“Considering how important it is to attract people to the industry, and encourage them to stay, I am calling on the government to support this scheme.”
Media Contact: Noah Schultz-Byard 0427 604 760