Ten years too long to wait for ECE centre funding increase

23 March 2021

Early learning centres are asking the government to include them on pay parity funding increases in the upcoming budget.

The government has signalled the pay gap between centre and kindergarten teachers will be closed over the next few budgets. With no significant funding change for ten years for centres, many won’t be around to see it if the current funding model remains in place.

“Centres want to pay their teaching teams well - wages make up 77% of the average early learning centre’s budget, with many paying more to attract and retain teachers in the current shortage.”

“That doesn’t leave much for everything else – rent, maintenance, professional development or resources. It’s not sustainable,” said Early Childhood Council CEO Peter Reynolds.

The ECC is calling for future ECE funding increase to be split at 70% for teacher wages and 30% for centres’ operations, saying that ratio will go a long way toward keeping the early learning sector fair and sustainable.

“Long term, the current broken funding model underpins a lack of fairness and transparency must be addressed. Channelling a small portion of funding increase to centres now is about survival in 2021,” said Mr Reynolds.

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