Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.
All around the country and facebookland educators are prancing with glee at the arrival this week of a $ figure for the Long Day Care Professional Development Program. Understandable I suppose. It is not often that people in ECE get promised a pot of money.
But I bet the educators are not dancing as much as those who will actually end up with the money in their pockets. This fund is to be used for training. So the people who will actually be paid are trainers and training organisations. This is where the money will go.
This fund is entirely motivated by politics. It replaced a fund created by a Labor government, and it exists to kill that fund and the idea behind it. The Labor fund was designed to put wage pressure on the early childhood sector. It was not a full wage rise for everyone. The government did not take on full responsibility for early childhood wages. But it did create a mechanism for putting pressure on employers in the sector to pay more. And the money in that fund was going to go directly into the pockets of early childhood educators, to pay them more for their work with children.
Sadly, the gamble of creating a fund that would only reach part of the sector did not pay off. It was a political sitting duck, too easily derided as unfair.
The Liberal government ‘alternative’ pretends to put money into early childhood education. But it is actually putting money into adult education. The recipients will be adult trainers, not early childhood educators.
This fund is also designed to have a short shelf life. It is not intended to raise investment in the sector overall. It does not help Australian society make the transition to accepting the higher ongoing costs of a brave new world of early childhood that routinely includes centre based care for most children. There is one pot of money for three years, and then it is over. No more where that came from.
So I really hope to see services invest this money wisely. Please learn something new and lasting about children and pedagogy. If I see it all get frittered away on CPR updates, I swear I will cry a river as wide as the Shannon.
And I will be watching to see how many of the bright and happy posts about training that appear in my facebook feed are actually thinly disguised advertisements from the carpetbaggers sweeping in to feed from this honey pot.
This would be a good time to invoke some of those critical theory skills we have been working on at the behest of the NQF. Or maybe those who still don’t know what that means could use their LDCPDP to learn. Perhaps then it won’t turn out to be a huge tragic wasted opportunity.
© Grainne O’Malley 2014
Anarchy & the EYLF Pirates
Refuse. Resist. Rebuild.