ACA National President's Report June 2022

With only one month into the new Labor Government's term, ACA has already hit the ground running in terms of our political advocacy. As you would now be aware, a new Cabinet was announced at the start of this month, with the Hon Anne Aly appointed as the new Minister for Early Childhood Education and Youth.

In mid-June I had a one-on-one face meeting in Melbourne with Minister Aly to introduce myself and get the ball rolling on a positive working relationship with the new Australian Government.

It was a positive discussion and I provided an overview of the biggest challenges facing our sector right now, with the most critical issue being the workforce crisis. The Minister was interested to hear about the impact on the sector and the practical difficulties that many of our members are facing on a day-to-day basis as a result of these workforce shortages. . 

The recent extensions to the COVID support measures are a good indication that the new government is listening to our feedback and understands the need to provide adequate supports to ensure long-term viability, which allows for ongoing access to high-quality services for all Australian families.

By now you will have received the email from DESE with the finer details about CCS increases, which ACA also advocated for. The 2021–22 CCS rates are available on the DESE website here

We will continue to work closely with Minister Aly and the Department of Education, Skills & Employment (DESE) to advocate for our sector's needs and seek short, medium and long-term solutions to the workforce shortages. 

This month, thanks to easing COVID restrictions we also held our first face-to-face ACA board meeting meeting in over two years. It was great to see all of our board members in the one room - there is nothing quite like in-person discussions to brainstorm and bounce around problem-solving ideas. 

Together ACA's Executive Committee has developed a new political engagement strategic apporach, which we will share with our members in the coming weeks as we refine our policy collateral.

We believe that our new political advocacy strategy will provide a solid foundation for working collaboratively with the new government in an effective, positive way. 

As we move into the new financial year, we hope that you are well prepared for the new financial year ahead, along with your families. 

The end of June is always a busy time of year, with tax time for businesses and staff, the reconciliation process for families, along with this year's national minimum wage increase and Child Care Subsidy (CCS) increase.

It's important to remind your families about the Child Care Subsidy (CCS) reconciliation process, which requires them to confirm their income each financial year to ensure they are paid the correct amount of Child Care Subsidy (CCS).

By now you should have also received the latest wage tables from your ACA state body, which incorporate the national minimum wage increases. Your ACA state body can assist you, should you have any questions about the applications of these new wage rates.

On a final note, please be sure to save the date for Early Childhood Educators' Day. This year's celebration will take place on Wednesday 7th September.

We're in the process of updating the event website and producing some new videos to help spread the word. Stay tuned for the launch of some fun merchandise items, which will be available to order from 11 July.  



We're working on the 2022 resources!

Just a friendly reminder to save the date and start thinking about this year's Early Childhood Educators' Day, which takes place this year on Wednesday 7th September.

Early Childhood Educators' Day recognises and celebrates the work of Australia's educators in early learning services for their wonderful contribution to the wellbeing and healthy development of the young children in their care.

We're in the process of updating the website and the resources for this annual event, which continues to grow from year to year, so please bear with us as we bring it up to date this week! 

Early learning service providers are encouraged to celebrate Early Childhood Educators' Day by organising their own activities involving their educators, their children and their families on Wednesday 7th September 2022 or during the same week so that all families get the chance to say thank you. 

We're looking forward to launching our new resources next week, and our "How are you going to say thank you?" video later in July. 

Stay tuned for more information on how you can get involved.