Day care centers close when workers beat for pay

Early Childhood educators walk off the job in protest in Brisbane, Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Some childcare centres around the country will close early today as 6,500 staff protest about their pay and conditions. (AAP Image/Dan Peled) NO ARCHIVING

Thousands of child-care workers leave work in protest of low wages, as Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the sector will be better off with government investment.

Around 7,000 early childhood workers will go on strike on Wednesday afternoon to hold rallies across the country, which will result in the closure of 350 centers.

It is the fourth setback of the sector in 18 months.

"My message to them is that we are investing record amounts in the child care sector," Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.

"That will create a more sustainable child care sector, a bigger and better child care sector, and that's good for employees as well."

The federal government recently introduced a discount system for unprotected child care, where families with an annual income of less than $ 186,958 will no longer face a cap on the reimbursement paid each year.

Both parents must be working, studying, volunteering or looking for work at least eight hours every fifteen days to be eligible.

The early childhood union United Voice expects the strike to affect up to 40,000 parents and says it has put the government "on notice."

"It is outrageous that qualified early childhood educators in Australia earn $ 22 per hour," Helen Gibbons of United Voice said in a statement.

She says that the payment rate does not reflect the increase in the capacity of the first child care workers to meet the highest national qualification standards.

Labor leader Bill Shorten says the sector should be treated as education instead of a "child care service."

"We can no longer treat child care as just a childcare service so that mom and dad can go to work," Shorten told reporters in Townsville on Wednesday.

"What we have to do is treat it as education, and if we're going to treat it as education, we have to pay the work force better."