Last night's lively Inner Circle event with NSW Deputy Secretary Lisa Alonso Love

Last night's ACA NSW Inner Circle event (on 25 July 2022) was most certainly lively - and that would be an understatement. (PLEASE NOTE: In order to achieve the broadest exchanges, Chatham House Rule was invoked, ie, anyone who attends is free to use information from the discussion, but agrees to not reveal who made any particular comment.)

Instead of the NSW Department of Education's Gillian White (Executive Director, Early Childhood Education and Schools Policy), ACA NSW members present were treated to have the "boss' boss" - Lisa Alonso Love, Deputy Secretary, Education & Skills Reform.

During the evening, the following and more were raised and discussed:

  1. the NSW Government's universal pre-kindergarten proposal by 2030 and why the gap of 8 years
  2. the need for independently defining true and measurable undersupplied areas if 47,000 new places are to be created within the next 4 years
  3. where will we find potentially 19,300 educators/teachers to support the NSW Government's new initiatives when the NSW sector already needs 13,000 by 2023 
  4. the unintended effects of NSW Government policies (eg "free preschools")
  5. the Victorian Government's $9,000 to $50,000 relocation incentives versus the NSW Government's
  6. the divisions between community preschools and long daycare services
  7. the lack of primary schools and school teachers to truly leverage the outcomes of early childhood education
  8. the lack of recorded measurable outcomes in children through early childhood education and primary schools
  9. the potential lack of impact of the NSW Government's $286m funding for scholarships and employee retention
  10. alternate qualification(s) pathways to attract new educators/teachers into sector
  11. the expectations of the level of pay for educators and teachers and how it will be funded
  12. the lack of respect for early childhood educators and teachers especially when compared to school teachers
  13. the flaws of the National Quality Framework since 2012 especially in anticipation of the new Preschool Outcomes Measures
  14. the demonstrable absence of recorded superior and substantive outcomes in NSW despite higher staffing/qualification ratios compared to other Australian jurisdictions, including the inconsistent results of Quality Area 1 - Educational Program and Practce and Overall Quality Ratings

Notwithstanding that the NSW Department of Education had a number of issues to address, there was a genuine undertaking by the Department's two senior representatives to seriously consider ACA NSW members' concerns raised and feedback shared. They also offered to continue to re-engage with ACA NSW members at future ACA NSW Inner Circle event(s).

ACA NSW is most appreciative of Lisa Alonso Love and her colleague (Lliam Findlay, Acting Executive Director, Start Strong) for attending last night's Inner Circle event as well as fielding the non-stop series of respectful yet thought-provoking questions with their answers, insights and explanations.

The next two Inner Circle events will be scheduled for 2023, bringing ACA NSW members and senior leaders of the early childhood education and care sector together for more robust discussions, engagements and interactions.

For further information/clarification, please contact the ACA NSW team via 1300 556 330 or

Link to photos of the Inner Circle event on 25 July 2022 via Facebook