At Petit Early Learning Journey, we have introduced a significant new early childhood education pay framework resulting in a pay rise that rewards our qualified educators. The new framework benefits and rewards our employees and has positive outcomes for our children and families.

Reflecting on the results from our family survey, we have developed a framework to recognise the valuable skills and contributions of our early childhood education and care professionals.

Our new remuneration scale based on the qualification a person holds or is studying towards continues our commitment to developing our learning community. Built into the framework is a recognition system for employees who are going above and beyond or contributing in ways we know our families value. Such as, our families appreciating consistent professional communications with our teams, so we are rewarding those who choose to work full-time to ensure they are available at times our families want them.

Petit ELJ’s People and Culture Operations Manager Melissa Hart takes us through the new framework and how it benefits families. Read on to learn more about:

Educator connects with child in indoor play area. the child wearing a red and green tutu-like skirt is holding a y-shaped wooden block above her head. She is grinning. The educator is sitting on the floor at the child's level and has one hand on a wooden block on the ground. Behind them is wooden shelving with more wooden blocks.

Remuneration framework tackles sector crisis

This time last year, the early childhood education and care sector faced a staffing crisis. Even as recent as November 2023, a survey by the Australian Childcare Alliance, reported that the crisis was still ongoing and impacting families by denying them and their children places.

Staff recruitment and retention has been an ongoing issue in the sector for some years and Petit ELJ has devised a framework designed to competitively remunerate, reward and retain our qualified educators and address family concerns.

“The pilot was announced in December 2023 with half the centres testing out our new framework,” says Melissa. “It was so successful that we secured these teams and filled our open vacancies. So based on the success of this pilot we decided to roll out our new framework to every centre.”

“We have also introduced several new allowances to reward the contributions of our permanent team that add significant value to our organisation. These allowances specifically recognise continuity and consistency of care, ongoing learning within ECEC and accountability.”

“The children in our care and their families benefit greatly from the rollout of this remuneration framework.”

An educator sits on the ground with a child. They are connecting over a book titled, Oceans. The educator is reading to the child while the child points at the images and words. Behind them is a cane chair.

How additional allowances improve quality care

Educators who are ‘actively working towards’ an ACECQA approved qualification bring into our learning community new skills, knowledge and ideas.

“So, we’re going to pay them more. We’re starting to recognise and reward the right behaviours in the workplace.”

“Then, we’re also offering an allowance for any employee who wants to work full-time. This rewards continuity of care which is so important for the children. It also helps us to communicate and partner better with families. When children have consistent educators, they build better connections.”

“Our people still have the option of flexible employment. We can also offer an Individual Flexibility Arrangement with full-time hours, either in four-day week or nine day fortnight, to provide valuable time for study or other reasons. We encourage everybody to have that flexibility.”

“One of the things we have noticed in the sector is that there is an overarching casualisation, which means we are losing quality educators to agencies. To remain competitive, we’re focusing on building up our quality care practice.”

“We believe our people should be recognised fairly and consistently based on their experience and skills.”

The new remuneration framework part of a broader focus

Our new remuneration framework is part of a broader focus to improve staffing, in particular recruitment and retention relating to a sector-wide shortage of permanent qualified educators and to provide our teams with financial support. Our employees’ health and happiness is important to us and our team focus this year is on financial well-being, with the rollout being the start.

This framework has positive outcomes for our families with consistent rosters and familiar faces connecting with our children and families.

An educator sits at the child's level and points to a puzzle board game on a table. The child is standing behind the table and is smiling and looking at the educator.

Let’s raise the bar together at Petit Early Learning Journey

At Petit ELJ we know all our educators by name. We believe in collaboration and listen to our teams’ needs and desires. Our goal is to create an adult learning community where our teams are valued for learning new skills and knowledge, and for demonstrating their commitment to the children in their care.

We offer a genuine and respectful culture, where our teams are supported and connected to their children, families and each other. Are you seeking an environment where you are welcomed and inspired to be your most authentic self?

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