Early childhood



Early childhood

The AEU has almost 3,000 members in the early childhood sector, and is the most effective advocate for Victoria's early childhood teachers and educators.

In 2021, we secured two new major enterprise agreements – EEEA 2021 for the local government sector, and VECTEA 2021 for the community sector – with signicant improvements in pay and conditions for early childhood members.

An overwhelming 99% of employees voted in favour of the new EEEA, and 98.5% for the VECTEA. Highlights of the agreements include:

  • Teacher pay increase of between 13%–30% over four years
  • Educator and Activity Group Leader pay rises of between 20%–27%
  • Immediate pay parity for level 1.5 Educators with range 1.5 Education Support staff in schools
  • Pay rise for Preschool Field Officers of between 16.9%–17.7% plus time-and-a-half for each hour of approved time-in-lieu
  • The introduction of new diploma levels 2.2 and 2.3
  • The removal of the hard barrier of teacher validation in February 2022, to be replaced by a simpler process
  • Entitlement to two professional development days (pro-rata) for all Educators
  • Personal leave increased from 10 to 15 days
  • Family violence leave of 20 days per year.

These two agreements set the benchmark for the rest of the early childhood sector. 

Three-year-old kinder rollout

The Victorian Labor government has announced $5 billion of funding over the next 10 years so that every child in the state will have access to two years of kindergarten. Victoria will be the first state or territory in Australia to introduce a subsidised kindergarten program for all three-year-olds. This very welcome funding will mean changes for our members at centres across the state. The Department of Education and Training has provided resources and information about the rollout, including:

The AEU: the union for you

The AEU is the union for early childhood teachers, educators, preschool field officers (PSFOs), and advisors.

We understand your work and the challenges (and rewards!) of early childhood.

When the going gets tough, we’ll support you – whether that’s providing 1-on-1 advice about anything from your contract to your leave entitlements, running excellent PD, or achieving strong enterprise agreements for the workforce as a whole.

When it comes to enterprise bargaining, there is strength in numbers – and the more early childhood teachers and educators join the AEU, the more power we have at the bargaining table.

We've sucessfully campaigned for the Victorian government to introduce 15 hours of preschool education for all three-year-old children - the single biggest investment in preschool we have seen in Victoria.

The AEU has almost 50,000 members around Victoria. Join us today, and connect with a community of passionate educators.