Senate debates

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Statements by Senators

Early Childhood Education

1:47 pm

Photo of Nita GreenNita Green (Queensland, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Today is Early Childhood Educators Day, so, like so many of my colleagues today, I want to speak on the important work that our early childhood educators do. Our early educators have a mammoth task on their hands every day they go to work. Not only do they care for our youngest Australians, allowing parents across the country to go out and participate in their own jobs and build the economy, they also do an incredibly important job of giving our youngest Australians the very best start to their education. Yet this predominantly female workforce is seriously undervalued and underpaid, and they are tired. Educators are leaving the sector in droves but today, in just a few hours, educators will stand right outside this place and speak up for their worth. They will speak out about the unjust way that they have been treated for far too long, and I and my colleagues are proud to stand with them

Our government understands that the current early childhood education system is not working for educators, which means it is not working for families, which means it is not working for our economy, and we want to see that fixed. We know that, beyond praise, educators need and deserve better wages and conditions. Their pay packets should reflect the important and very skilled work that they perform every single day. We know that a lot needs to be done to reform this sector, but childhood educators across the country can rest assured that we see you, we stand with you and we will deliver for you.

Congratulations on the very important step that you are taking today. We want to make sure that you understand that we stand here in solidarity with you and the important work that you do.