We were proud to officially launch the Childcare Leadership Alliance at events held in Dysart on Tuesday 18 April, and Moranbah on Wednesday 19 April, with audiences of local business leaders, industry, childcare sector representatives, council and government representatives.

At the launch event, Melissa Comerford Director of Astute Early Years Specialists and Project Manager of the CLA, led a panel discussion comprised of CEO’s and Directors of local Childcare Services and school Principals who are witness to the effects of lack of accessibility of early learning on children and families. The panel discussion detailed the CLA’s year one strategies to target key areas of attraction, recruitment and retention of educators, as well as funding programs and professional development for sector employees.

“We know that high quality early learning Is important for our children. We know it’s also important for the community. We need strong community support and collaboration because those two focuses bring in so many other things that we need to talk about.”

– Melissa Comerford, Director of Astute Early Years Specialists and Project Manager of the CLA

CLA Launch Event Melissa Comerford addresses panel discussion

General Manager of BMA’s Broadmeadow Mine and Childcare Leadership Alliance Board Member, Michael Thomas, said a lack of childcare was a major issue for communities BMA operates in.

“We want to ensure all of the community can be meaningfully employed and shortages in childcare are proving to be a barrier to employment for many.”

The CLA has identified that the key to the provision of quality early learning services is reliant on having skilled workers to staff the sector, particularly in regional communities where it is even harder to attract and retain early childhood teachers and educators. Challenges to this include a lack of affordable and suitable housing, isolation, and costly living expenses as well as a lack of sector-specific professional development resources and leadership programs.

The Childcare Leadership Alliance plans to implement the following:

  • Consistent and equitable program to secure accommodation for childcare staff
  • Establishing a local rewards program linking educators to local businesses to access offers and assist with the cost of everyday expenses
  • Campaigning government for wage subsidies for early childhood education and care sector (ECEC), with extra support for those in rural locations
  • Attraction campaigns for local and international Visa sponsored educators to bolster workforce
  • Building a focused program to support job candidates to be “Work Ready” including support for adjustment to regional living
  • Campaigning government to reduce the barriers to migration for qualified educators and teachers
  • Developing a funding program to support both the long term viability of the CLA and funding models for regional centres


The CLA will also be releasing a range of professional development opportunities throughout this year, including events, training programs, mentorship, and networking events. Designed to empower early childhood educators and support them in their current and future roles with content tailored to the unique complexities of this sector within a regional context.

Dysart Event

Moranbah Event

The CLA would like to acknowledge Barada Barna for attending and providing our Welcome to Country, Counry Roads Dysart and Moranbah State High School for providing our event locations, Honey and Fig Grazing for our Moranbah event catering and Bianca Merritt Photography for capturing both events.

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Categories: Events /