Education sector to launch 10-year policy

Rebecca Gredley
(Australian Associated Press)


Education experts are set to launch a 10-year policy vision for the sector, calling for major reforms including a minister for early childhood education.

Trade union United Voice will reveal the “Big Steps” policy plan in Canberra on Wednesday.

Among the 10 reforms is equal pay for educators, an investment of one per cent of gross domestic product toward early childhood education, and a minister for early childhood education, health and welfare.

Director of the Mitchell Institute at Victoria University, Megan O’Connell will address early childhood education leaders at the launch.

Ms O’Connell says the sector needs qualified workers, after an interim Senate committee report released this month recommended otherwise.

The report, which looked into reducing red tape in child care, suggests formal qualifications for child care are not the only prerequisite to providing high quality care.

“As this can also be provided by parents,” the recommendation says.

Ms O’Connell says the sector was one of the least understood and worst supported areas of education.

“There is no way anyone would question whether school teachers need qualifications to ensure children get a good education,” she said in a statement.

“And we know that early childhood education is at least as important as school, so this suggestion is just unbelievable.”

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