Let childcare educators be sponsored in the main cities of Australia

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To whom it may concern,

My name is Joana and I have been living in Sydney since August 2014.

In July 2016, I enrolled in a Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care. I decided to take this course because I believe that early education has a huge impact on children’s development and on the adults they will become. In a daycare setting children learn how to engage with other children and adults. Because I care about the welfare of children in this country, I feel I need to express my discontent.

Since I started this diploma and working as an educator, laws and regulations, skilled occupation list, visa requirements, especially for subclasses 457 and 187, have changed quite often, making life for overseas learners and educators who must scramble to adjust to these frequent changes a bit difficult, to say the least. Many childcare centres around Sydney are struggling to find permanent staff (full time workers) not because there is a lack of workers, but because there simply aren’t enough Australian candidates applying to fill those jobs. On a student visa, I’m only allowed to work 20 hours per week.  The frustrating reality is that I have refused multiple full time offers because I’m not allowed to accept them due to the 20 hour cap. This less-than-ideal situation has many negative consequences to the quality of service at childcare centres, and perhaps the saddest thing about it is that it affects the children adversely, too. Centres are typically working with more casual staff than permanent staff. This is simply unacceptable, as the obvious lack of experience in casual staff ends up affecting children’s development at these centres. They are unable to build vital relationships with the staff because they may see different people working on any given day. Even parents have expressed concern because they do not know the staff, therefore the necessary trust relationship between these educational services and the families who depend on them has been compromised.

I would like to use my voice and appeal to the government to change the law. Centres should be allowed to sponsor educators from overseas in Sydney and the surrounding area. I speak for many people in this community when I say that educators like me are responsible, hard-working contributors to Australian society. We should not be forced to live in underpopulated areas when it is obvious that centres in cities like Sydney need our skills and experience to avert this looming crisis in child care quality.

I would welcome the chance to discuss this situation further.

 Yours faithfully,

 Joana Abrantes



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