Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann, Member for Fraser, Andrew Leigh and Senator for the ACT, Kate Lundy, have today urged local child care providers to apply for grants under a $300 million Federal Government Fund that will boost the wages of early childhood educators.
Early childhood educators in the ACT will soon start receiving better wages through the Early Years Quality Fund.
Minister for Early Childhood and Child Care Kate Ellis today released the Funding Guidelines ahead of the Fund opening for applications next week. The Fund will deliver real increases to wages and will go some way to recognising the professionalism and qualifications of this highly valued workforce.
Many education and care providers already pay above the award - with about one in four staff covered by enterprise agreements and many other staff paid at above award rates through other arrangements.
The Government’s Early Years Quality Fund will support more education and care providers to deliver wage increases to this sector through enterprise agreements - $3.00 per hour increases for Certificate III qualified educators with proportional increases across the classification scale.
Program Guidelines have been released for Long Day Care providers to gain a full understanding of the assessment process and eligibility criteria before applying.
Grants open on 23 July and applications will be assessed on an ongoing basis.
Fifty per cent of this Fund has been set aside so that small child care providers can apply for grants without having to compete with large providers.
The key requirements that were announced in March will remain:
- a demonstrated commitment to the implementation of the National Quality Framework
- a commitment to fee restraint
- fee transparency requirements for families
- and the delivery of wage increases through an enterprise agreement
The Program Guidelines and further information about the Early Years Quality Fund can be found atwww.deewr.gov.au/early-years-quality-fund.