Goodstart Early Learning

Goodstart Early Learning has been selected as an Employer of Choice in The Australian Business Awards 2023. The Australian Business Award for Employer of Choice [EOC] recognises organisations that develop workplaces that maximise the full potential of their workforce through established policies and practices which demonstrate effective employee recruitment, engagement and retention.

“Our people are at the heart of everything we do. We believe that investing in our team members contributes directly to the positive outcomes we achieve for the children and families we serve. Our shared vision that Australia’s children have the best possible start in life is the key to our strong, child focused culture.

“We place a priority on supporting and recognising our people for their life-changing work, as they make the difference in children’s lives, helping to build the foundations for lifelong learning and success.

“We listen deeply to our people and take action to seize opportunities and address challenges. This includes changing the way we work to provide our teams with increased non-contact time, flexible work arrangements and training and support.”

Dr Ros Baxter, Chief Executive Officer, Goodstart

Goodstart was founded in 2010 as a not-for-profit social enterprise by four leading charities who understood the power of early learning to transform children’s lives, particularly those experiencing vulnerability – Mission Australia, The Benevolent Society, The Brotherhood of St Laurence and Social Ventures Australia.

Today, Goodstart is Australia’s largest early learning provider – employing more than 15,000 educators, teachers and early learning professionals – who positively shape the lives of 63,000 children in their first five years through inclusive, high-quality early learning and teaching across 660 communities.

Goodstart was founded with a vision for Australia’s children to have the best possible start in life. Goodstart recognises their people’s crucial role in the lives of the children attending their early learning centres. As a not-for-profit early learning provider, everything they earn is reinvested into their people, practices and programs to continue supporting their teams to impact children’s learning, development and wellbeing positively.

For every $1 they invest at Goodstart in their targeted social purpose investments, $5.50 of value is returned to children, families and the community.

Goodstart’s employee value proposition is anchored by ‘supporting you in making a difference’. From informal thank you campaigns to improving working conditions – their value proposition and strategic goal, ‘Amazing Goodstarter Experience’, keep their people front-in-centre. At Goodstart, they aim to provide a healthy work-life balance, security and support, safe, inclusive and welcoming environments, and personal and career opportunities through defined career pathways.

Over the past two years, Goodstart has listened to what their people need, and they’ve worked with them to implement even more benefits and better conditions. Above-award wages, increased non-contact time, and flexible work arrangements are ways they recognise and support their people.

Last year, Goodstarters could access employer-funded paid parental leave for the first time. Employees also increased the discount on childcare for cooks and educators from 15-30 per cent to 50 per cent, and Goodstarters can now access rostered personal wellbeing days. Goodstart also strongly supported employees managing COVID-19 – receiving a national safety award for its impact – with high levels of safety and wellbeing advice and support, mandatory vaccination, access to special leave when isolating, and allowing employees to work from home where they could. Goodstart also continues to increase the diversity of its workforce, offering traineeships for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander educators and establishing communities of practice for under-represented groups. Goodstart has also moved to a new support model for their centre teams, with a coaching model evolving to support and empower centre leaders.

Overall, Goodstart invests in its people to ensure children receive the best possible start to life.

For information about Goodstart, visit

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