Shadow Minister for Early Childhood Education Kate Washington generously gave of her time before Christmas, spending two hours with the IEU Early Childhood Council at the Union’s Sydney office.
Ms Washington heard feedback from teachers and directors in rural and urban settings on what the State Government’s new funding model Starting Strong, announced in October, means to them.
The message was by no means black and white, but Ms Washington said her overall take on the funding model was its unnecessary complexity.
She noted that the timing of the announcement was “awkward” as most centres had already set their fees and enrolments for 2017, but the complexity and conditions relating to the funding were “staggering”.
“It’s clear that the government’s one size fits all approach is all stick and no carrot. Regrettably, NSW is tying itself up in unnecessary complexity and losing focus on the end goal.
“Other feedback I hear loud and clear is the undervaluing of teachers and workers in the sector. Quite simple, pay inequality is something that must be addressed.”