The announcement yesterday of G8’s next chief executive has highlighted the profit-driven culture of early learning in Australia.

G8 is the largest for-profit provider in the country. Yesterday G8 CEO Gary Carroll announced his resignation, and reports have identified his replacement as Pejman Okhovat, head of discount store chain Big W. When Mr Okhovat moves to G8, his base pay will be $950,000 but including bonuses could become up to $2.6 million per year.

Quotes attributable to Helen Gibbons, Director Early Education, United Workers Union:

“Appointing a retail executive to run early learning services is not only laughable, it’s dangerous.

“No one would make the ex CEO of Big W the principal of school, in charge of school-aged children. Why then are we allowing the same person to run one of the largest providers of early learning in the country, to be responsible for the first five years of growth and development of hundreds of thousands of children?

“A $2.6 million salary is even more obscene when educators earn as little as $24 an hour, and G8 has a documented history of underpaying educators even their basic legal entitlements.

“The fact that this is even possible shows how broken our current early learning system is.

“Early learning providers too often prioritise profits over children. No one should be making obscene profits out of the education of our youngest children.

“This is why educators everywhere are taking action on September 7, and shutting down the early learning sector to fight for real reform.

“It’s time to reform the early learning sector for good!”




Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]


Yesterday hundreds of member leaders from all across the country came together and voted to take historic action to address the crisis in early education.

Educators are leaving the sector in record numbers every week, due to burn-out, workload and low pay. Centres across the country are having to limit enrolments, close rooms and cancel staff leave. Children and families are suffering due to the strain.

After nearly a decade of inaction on early learning, educators have had enough!

Yesterday’s meeting was just the start. Educators are talking to each other all over the country and building a nationwide action!

United Workers Union members are calling for the new Federal Government to urgently outline a plan and timeline to deliver on 3 key priorities:

  • Give us a reason to stay & pay us what we are worth,
  • Value early learning as part of the education system, just as important as schools, and
  • Put children before profit.

It’s time to reform the early learning sector for good!

On Early Childhood Educators Day on September 7, educators everywhere are going to take national action, shut down the early learning sector and take to the streets!

Quotes attributable to Helen Gibbons, Director Early Education, United Workers Union:

“Educators are sick of being stuck. After nearly a decade of inaction the new Federal Government needs to commit to an urgent plan to fix the early education sector.

“UWU members’ vision is for a sector where educators’ vital work is valued with professional wages and working conditions, and where early education is recognised for its vital role in children’s development.

“The only way out of the crisis in early learning is real reform that respects educators.”



Media Contact: 1300 898 633, [email protected]