Federal Member Lisa Chesters. Photo: ANDREW PERRYMAN

Early childhood workers would be set to benefit from the federal Labor government following an announcement by federal member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters.

A 20 per cent pay rise to early childhood educators over eight years is proposed by Labor to support workers and deliver professional pay to those in the industry.

In addition to a pay rise for workers, families earning a combined income of less than $70,000 can expect fully subsidised child care under Labor.

“Labor’s policy has been really warmly received across a number of centres in Bendigo,” Ms Chesters said.

“Making childcare more affordable is one of the big cost of living pressures that families have.”

Bendigo’s Liberal Party candidate Sam Gayed said the Coalition’s New Child Care Package is benefiting 5260
local families, who are typically $1300 better off.

“It’s important we understand that promising is easy, but delivering is what matters,” Mr Gayed said.

“The member for Bendigo will not deliver on the needs of the Bendigo people or on her election commitments, except the first few that
would be using the budget surplus of the current government.”

Ms Chesters said that the wage increase would be
negotiated between the sector and Fair Work Australia, with an incremental pay rise the most likely way the
20 per cent increase will be delivered.

When asked how the
Labor Party plans to fund subsidised child care, Ms Chesters said that tough decisions will be made to close down tax loopholes.

“Our changes in a number of years will restore our budget to help those on low and medium incomes to
access childcare sooner,” Ms Chesters said.

Manager of Goodstart Early Learning Centre in Golden Square Emily Gerber said it is great to have early education being valued.

“We need to be recruiting bachelor trained educators and retaining good staff,” Ms Gerber said.

“You can’t do that when they get paid $20 per hour.”

Figures from the Labor Party reveal that families with a combined income of $70,000 to $100,000 will
receive an 85 per cent subsidy that could save families
as much as $1400 per year.