The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) is a not-for-profit, member-funded organisation advocating for the future of Australia's children.
We work on behalf of long day care owners and operators to ensure families and their children have an opportunity to access affordable, high quality early learning services throughout Australia.

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ACA supports commencement of landmark negotiations for wage increases in early learning sector

The following text is lifted from an ACA Media Release - Friday 27 October 2023:

Landmark negotiations for wage increases in ECEC sector begin, supported by ACA

Today, the Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) joins other employer groups and the United Workers Union (UWU), the Australian Education Union (AEU) and the Independent Education Union (IEU) to begin negotiations for Government-funded pay rises and better working conditions for Early Childhood Education and Care workers.

This marks the first ever supported bargaining negotiations for the early learning sector, made possible under new provisions in the Fair Work Act and will bring the Government into the process.

Australian Childcare Alliance President, Paul Mondo, said today was a historic moment for the early learning sector.

“This will be the first time we have entered into negotiations with service providers, unions and governments all at the table, working together,” Mr Mondo said.

“Every party has the same goal - to get wages moving for our workforce - which will help attract and retain educators in a sector currently facing critical workforce issues. The success of this bargaining process is highly dependent on Government funding agreed wage increases, to ensure families are not worse off.”

Mr Mondo added that the sector is built on two pillars: a stable and supported workforce, and strong and viable services and providers.

This week, new data from a national survey of early learning centres confirmed the sector's ongoing workforce crisis is impacting Australian families, with most centres surveyed by the United Workers Union responding they faced difficulty filling staff vacancies, and many had waitlists for new families hoping to enrol in their services.

The survey also showed many families can’t access the number of days they need and initially enrolled for, and when casual staff are unavailable some centres are being forced to close early or cap enrolments to meet ratio requirements.

Mr Mondo said the data was not a shock to anyone working in the sector, as the workforce crisis is the biggest challenge faced by operators.

“Our members have reported for years now that staff recruitment and retention is one of the biggest issues in the sector. As an organisation, we have consistently advocated for more government support to help attract and retain early learning educators,” he said.

“Today marks the first step towards resolving this crisis, and we look forward to working with the unions and government through this process.”


Media enquiries: Olivia Joyce – 0448 129 595