According to the most recent job figures, the need for childcare employees is at an all-time high. More than 3000 Educators are required in Sydney alone, with a total of 16,000 required across the country. In addition to the shortage, 37% of workers intend to leave the industry, many of whom are dissatisfied with their salary and working conditions, a sentiment compounded by the pandemic.
On average, childcare workers earn $55,000 per year. In 2018, the application to increase the wages of childcare workers by 30% has been sent by the union has been rejected by the Fair Work Commission rejected submissions from unions.
During the election campaign, Labor's biggest single spending measure was childcare. It vowed $5.4 billion to enhance subsidies for 96% of families, claiming that putting more women to work will not only improve the welfare of these voters, but also the economy.
However, it is apparent that if the federal government intends to keep its promise of making childcare more inexpensive and accessible, it must first encourage employees to stay in the field and address the rising skills gap.
Educators are entitled to better salaries and working conditions. The government must advocate for childcare employees and investigate the best ways to structure the profession to protect their safety and well-being. Teachers that are happier have higher educational outcomes for their students.
Labor's policy of requesting a review of the sector by the Productivity Commission and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, as well as greater transparency from providers on revenue and profit, will go a long way toward ensuring that the system is set up to benefit both childcare workers and families.
To increase the number of educators in the pipeline, the government must also boost access to education and training. It needs to attract more talented employees to Australia in order to fill the gaps that now exist, as well as make it easier for those workers to come here. It's disturbing to hear that skilled immigrants are waiting up to 18 months for their visas. When employers are trying to find people to deliver important public services, this isn't good enough.
Government Must Tackle Skills Shortage To Deliver Childcare Promise, Brisbane Times