Urgent action needed for early education workforce at breaking point
10 August 2021 – Thrive by Five is urging the Federal Government to take action after a new report from the United Workers Union has found the early years workforce is in crisis, with turnover at unsustainable levels and inadequate pay and conditions.
In fact, the Exhausted, Undervalued and Leaving: The crisis in Early Education report found that 37% of educators surveyed do not intend staying in the sector long-term and over a quarter plan on leaving within the next 12 months after experiencing severe financial stress, excessive workloads, unpaid work, and understaffing.
Thrive by Five CEO Jay Weatherill said, “the people who educate our youngest children are shaping future generations, the economy and society – and they should be better recognised ad supported for the vital role they play.
“That’s why we should listen when educators are telling us about the stresses and challenges of undertaking their work and the urgent need for more support.
“These essential workers are at breaking point. Early educators at the start of their career can currently earn more at a call centre than for the essential service of educating future generations. It’s no wonder 46% of the educators who do plan to stay in the sector long-term still think about leaving ‘all of the time’ or ‘most of the time’.
“This predominately female workforce is being short-changed, children are missing out on crucial early education, parents aren’t able to get back to work and the economy is suffering.
“We call on the Federal government to listen to educators and fund appropriate pay and conditions for educators to end the problem of skill shortages, high vacancy rates and high turnover rates across the sector,” Mr Weatherill said.