No hiding from the problems with early childhood education and care

Look, I’d be mendacity if I stated I used to be bursting out of my pores and skin to get again to the desk on Monday. I used to be too relaxed to burst something after what can solely be described as a correct, old-school, low-key, who-cares-what-day-it-is, summer time vacation on the seashore with household. After a massively intense 2022, it was all the pieces the physician ordered after which some.   

I began the 2023 working 12 months relaxed, grateful and able to ease into one other 12 months of advocacy. Every week in, I’m nonetheless relaxed however I’m additionally considerably exercised. There may be simply no hiding from the very fact the fact for households attempting to mix their caring obligations with their paid work is not only tough. For a lot of it’s near unimaginable. 

I do know – personally and professionally – that not having the ability to entry or afford appropriate early childhood training and care is a large situation for households. Altering that could be a driving pressure on the advocacy organisation I lead. However even nonetheless this week the extent of the problem actually hit me within the face.     

On Sunday, forward of an interview with The At the moment Present, the host defined off-air that whereas she would love to have the ability to entry a further day of early studying for his or her youngest little one, their native service can’t supply an additional day. They only can’t discover workers. 

On Monday, a message popped up from one in every of The Parenthood supporters. A mother-of-two who lives in WA was informed that in Broome there are presently 700 kids on ready lists for early training and care. Their daughters are quantity twenty fourth and eightieth at one service. They might fortunately settle for even simply at some point every week. Each dad and mom work in well being but when they can not entry appropriate care for his or her kids they can not work.   

On Wednesday The Courier-Mail printed a report outlining the alarming exodus of educators from early childhood training and care within the state. 

‘… after the variety of certified early childhood lecturers within the state rose steadily from 2018-2021, it dropped to 3412 in 2022 – beneath the 2020 determine of 3494.’

On Thursday the Monetary Evaluate published a report about sky-rocketing out of pocket charges for early childhood training that folks merely can’t afford. 

On the identical day the ABC printed a narrative concerning the closure of a travelling bush early studying service in distant Qld. For greater than 15 years, it has supplied at some point every week of early studying and care to households within the distant cities of Aramac, Muttaburra, Isisford, and Ilfracombe.  

“This system run by the Longreach Regional Council was lower this month after a failed seek for a second certified childcare employee.”

In only a few days the important thing points for kids, educators and households in early training and care are entrance and centre. None of those tales are remoted. They apply far and vast. And the fee it poses to kids, dad and mom, educators and communities is simply too excessive. We can’t afford to not repair this downside. So what’s the answer? 

An early childhood system by which each little one – no matter postcode or their dad and mom’ earnings – has entry to completely reasonably priced, inclusive high quality early childhood training and care that’s delivered by a correctly paid workforce. Earlier than my return to work I used to be decided that 2023 could be the 12 months we get nearer to that system: a number of days in I’m extra satisfied than ever.  

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