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ACA ‘shocked’ by latest EYQF development

Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) has expressed disbelief regarding Minister for Youth Peter Garrett’s announcement that the Early Years Quality Fund will enable an increase in wages for only 27 per cent of the long day care sector.

The Early Years Quality Fund is a $300 million grant from the Australian government aiming at promoting quality education for pre-schoolers by hiring and retaining competent professionals.

The National Quality Framework (NQF) entails early childhood education providers to hire a workforce with higher education qualifications by 2014.

The re grants will be approved by Child Care Benefit. Long day care providers must be able to demonstrate a commitment to quality outcomes for children, including how their services will meet the NQF qualification requirements.

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, has mentioned that to resolve matters regarding pay equity under the Fair Work Act, the new Pay Equity Unit would undertake research and data collection. “The Gillard Government is committed to delivering support to some of our lowest-paid workers,” Shorten said.

The latest figures from the federal government indicate that wages will be increased by $3 per hour for Certificate III qualified educators, while relatively higher wage increases will be offered to diploma and degree holders.

The ACA has called the figures “an outrage” because the envisaged two-tier wage system means only a small percentage of staff will be rewarded.

ACA president Gwynn Bridge says the move “is unfair” on other care centre workers. “This is a highly discriminatory process against staff, families and services and believes that this is not promoting continuity of care for the children but instead is destroying the very heart of the intentions of the National Quality Framework,” she stated.

Source: http://www.cccav.org.au/child-care-industry-news

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