“Early childhood educators are doing the important and demanding job of educating and caring for our next generation, yet they are some of the lowest-paid workers,” Chesters said.
“These workers are feeling burnt out, undervalued, and underpaid after being exempt from work from home orders during the pandemic.
“Many are also dealing with illnesses themselves and having to take time off work,” Chesters said.
There are concerns that local families will soon be facing the prospect of increasing lack of access to early learning services in the region, leading to workforce shortages as parents, often women, are required to stay home with their children.
“Our children deserve quality education delivered by empowered educators who are respected.
“Early learning centres across our region are busier than ever, following the recent baby boom in Bendigo, yet we are in a workforce shortage.
“I have and will continue to meet with my Labor colleagues, including Minister for Early Childhood Education Anne Aly, to share the concerns of Central Victorian educators,” Chesters said.
The Labor Government has committed to making early education more affordable for families, a roadmap for universal access to early education, a more stable sector and importantly, a plan to review educator wages.