early childhood education and care insights

The pandemic has shown the critical role our early educators play in supporting our community. Our latest workforce report offers unique insights that can help shape the sector’s future.

Read the report

an industry in need of some care

The early release of super during the pandemic highlighted the heartbreaking prevalence of financial hardship among our members in early childhood education and care (ECEC). It points to the need to improve the quality and security of jobs in the sector.

HESTA strongly supports free universal childcare as a key productivity measure for women's workforce participation and lifetime earning potential. More than 80% of HESTA members are women so this will improve their financial futures, give more choices to working families and lead to better outcomes for generations of Australian children.



about the report

HESTA has more than 63,000 members working in the sector. As part of this workforce research project, HESTA surveyed professionals working across health and community services in May 2019 and in July 2020. More than 4800 members responded to the survey, including more than 360 ECEC professionals.

Questions looked at member’s job intentions, their employment satisfaction drivers, their attitudes towards their employer and industry, as well as how COVID affected their work, financial situation and industry outlook.




Here's what they told us


  1. 47% of respondents would strongly recommend their leader or manager.
  2. 42% would strongly recommend to family and friends working for their employer.

  3. This was strongest among younger members (18-29 years), with 64% recommending working at their employer and 77% their employer’s services.

  4.  54% of respondents would strongly recommend their employers’ services.

  5. The top three reasons for staying with their employer were: colleagues and co-workers, employer’s location and ‘liking the company I work for’.
  6. The top three reasons for leaving an employer were: developing new skills, trying something different and not being paid enough.

  7.  Their salary was the most disliked aspect of their roles followed by not enough opportunities for growth (promotion). 






early childhood education and care workforce insights: now and post pandemic

get in touch

For more information or to speak to a member of our partnerships team, please email us.