Today Northside Community Service is taking part in a national day of action for fair and equitable pay for early childhood educators, organised by United Voice’s Big Steps campaign. All four of our Early Childhood Centres will close at 3.00PM.
Centres all around Australia will be closing early on today to highlight how important early childhood educators are to the community, to the economy – but most importantly to children.
Despite how important the work of early childhood educators is, the award rate for educators is incredibly low – with a Certificate 3-qualified educator barely paid $22 an hour. Early childhood education providers, like Northside, pay above the award rate to acknowledge the incredible work of educators. However real professional equity will not be obtained until there is genuine Commonwealth Government commitment to funding early childhood education as education.
Northside has been a long-term supporter of educators’ fight for professional wages, and later this year we will be taking a significant step to join with services and organisations around the country to raise awareness of this issue.
I acknowledge and understand that for many families, this may be challenging. However, I strongly believe it is important that we take part in this national day of action. Since we announced this action, I have been heartened by how supportive the families have been. I believe that families know and understand how important educators are to the lives of their children and themselves.
One of the most important parts of the Big Steps campaign, and this action in September, is to call on support from families. Families know how important quality educators are to your child’s learning and wellbeing. Families know how challenging it is when educators move on to another, better-paid, career. Families know how hard educators work every day.
I’m proud to take this small step to acknowledge and fight for early childhood educators, including the incredible team of educators I have the absolute privilege to work with every day at Northside.
You can find out more about the campaign, and sign up as a supporter, at bigsteps.org.au. For families who are interested in more background to why this action is happening, I recommend this article by three academics in The Conversation.
On behalf of Northside’s leadership team, I offer you my sincere thanks to the incredible educators who work with young children every day. I call on all other organisations and to support educators as they continue their fight to be recognised and valued by the entire community.