The 2013 Federal Budget’s initiatives on childcare and aged care lay the foundation for quality care, education and support for all Australians from our earliest years to our latter years says United Voice, one of Australia’s biggest unions.
United Voice represents the aged care and early childhood education and care workforces.
Louise Tarrant, National Secretary of United Voice, says “In this Budget the Government has targeted spending to ensure the youngest and the oldest members of our community will receive the care they deserve.
“The early childhood and aged care sectors share the unenviable problem of workforces too small to meet current, let alone future needs.
“The government has worked with both sectors to find solutions that deliver quality care for young children and elderly Australians and importantly which will not result in extra costs to families.
Melanie O’Gorman, a personal carer working in aged caresays:“The $1.2 billion wages funding in the Government’s Living Longer Living Better aged care reform package is a great start in ensuring Australia has the stable, professional workforce on which our growing ageing population can depend. Young people start work in the sector and leave quickly because they can be paid more working in supermarkets. This scheme is a good start and will hopefully be followed through to build an aged care workforce that is properly recognised and rewarded.”
Emily Doonan, a Director of a childcare centre says: “The $300 million Early Years Quality Fund recognises the critical work of early childhood educators and sets the benchmark for professional wages for a workforce who are woefully underpaid. Importantly, it also ensures that parents don’t absorb the cost of professional wages.
“These are critical areas for the Australian community. Young children’s developmental needs must be met – after all, you only get one chance to get it right. Similarly, after a lifetime’s contribution to society, older Australians should be able to face old age with confidence that they will be able to get the care and support they need.
“We welcome these initiatives in tonight’s Budget because they are both big steps forward in ensuring that young children and older Australians have the care and supportthey deserve” says Louise Tarrant.