Members of the IEU’s Early Childhood Sector Committee met on 26 February and covered a wide range of issues, including agreements, accreditation and increasing Union membership.
IEU Early Childhood Vice President Gabe Connell said the Committee is concerned many services are struggling to meet the 15 hours per week universal access requirements due to a number of factors such as too many children enrolled and families being unable to afford the 15 hours.
“Preschools need to enrol three year old children because it’s important not only for the children but the viability of the service, but the system is penalising them for this.”
Gabe said the incentives for the 15 hours per week were announced after the services had completed their enrolments late last year and it was too late to change.
The Committee also discussed the accreditation process and that the IEU should contact all members and make sure they understood it. Speakers for the ECS Conference on 10 September were reviewed, as well as the need for organisers to get out to university open days and ‘sell’ the Union to students.
‘It’s free for the early childhood teacher students to enrol with the IEU, so we need to get them involved in the hope they become long term members,” Gabe said.
“We talked about what the Committee can do to increase membership and how the Union is the best advocate for teachers.”
Gabe said the committee also talked about workplace agreements and how they were being developed.
She also recently attended her first Quality Teaching Council (QTC) meeting at BOSTES. It’s the first time an early childhood representative has been included on the committee, and Gabe said it was an important step, underlining the professionalism of early childhood teachers and moving towards pay parity with school teachers.
The QTC meets again on 27 April and ECS Council on 27 May.