When working as a qualified Early Childhood Teacher (with a university degree) within a service, your rate of pay will come from the Educational Service Teachers Award, 2010. This Award is specifically for Early Childhood Teachers employed as the ECT in their centre.
The following article will provide you with information on minimum wages, details of the level structure, progression to the next level, director allowance etc. The minimum wage table provided is referenced from the Early Childhood Teacher Award, 2010 and is updated (28/6/2019) as effective on 01 July 2019.
Recognition of Previous Service
While employed as an ECT, you will be classified and paid according to a Level, based on your qualification and teaching experience. The following will count as recognition of service for early childhood/preschool teachers - which determines your Level for wage purposes:
- teaching experience in preschools, kindergartens, multi-purpose centres, early intervention services, long day care centre and other similar services;
- teaching experience of children from four to eight years (or in the infant's department) of a school registered and/or accredited under the relevant authority in each state or territory;
- service as a lecturer in early childhood education or child development, as a child development officer or equivalent; and
- service as a diploma qualified childcare worker, at the rate of one year for every three years’ service up to a maximum of four years
As per the Educational Services Teachers Award 2010, there are four levels which determine the base rate of pay in which you will receive while working as an ECT in a service, which also includes recognition of prior service. They are:
- Two years trained teacher - means any teacher employed in the children’s services and early childhood education industry as at the commencement of this award who has completed a two-year full-time course in early childhood education and who has been recognised as an early childhood teacher by the relevant State or Territory licensing and accreditation authority.
- Three years trained teacher - means a teacher who has completed a degree in education or early childhood education that requires three years of full-time study at an Australian university or the equivalent as determined by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition, or the relevant State or Territory teacher registration authority, or in the case of early childhood teachers the relevant licensing and accreditation authority.
- Four years trained teacher - means a teacher who has completed a degree in education or early childhood education that requires four years of full-time study at an Australian university or the equivalent as determined by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition, or the relevant State or Territory teacher registration authority, or in the case of early childhood teachers the relevant licensing and accreditation authority.
- Five years trained teacher - means a teacher who has completed a degree in education or early childhood education that requires four years of full-time study at an Australian university and in addition has completed a postgraduate degree at an Australian university requiring at least one year of full-time study, or the equivalent as determined by the National Office of Overseas Skills Recognition, or the relevant State or Territory teacher registration authority, or in the case of early childhood teachers the relevant licensing and accreditation authority
Progression to the Next Level
Each year you are employed as an ECT at your service, you will progress up the scale until you reach Level 12. Depending on the duration of your university degree, the following shows which level you commence at:
- An employee who is three years trained will commence on Level 1 and progress according to normal years of service to Level 12.
- An employee who is four years trained will commence on Level 3 and progress according to normal years of service to Level 12.
- An employee who is five years trained will commence on Level 4 and progress according to normal years of service to Level 12.
- All other teachers and two years trained teachers will commence on Level 1 and progress according to normal years of service to a maximum of Level 5.
ECT Wage Table
For Full Time and Part Time ECT's Working In An Early Childhood Service
For Casual ECT's Working In An Early Childhood Service
- A full-time employee who works in a children’s or early childhood service which usually provides services over a period of at least eight hours each day for 48 weeks or more (such as a long day care centre) will be paid an additional 4% on the rates set out (this is included in the table above).
- A part-time employee will be paid pro rata, at the same rate as a full-time employee in the same classification
- A casual employee in a children’s service or early childhood education service may be paid for a minimum of a quarter day.
- For Early Childhood Teachers working as a casual employee engaged for less than five consecutive days will receive no higher than the wage rate at Level 8.
- If you are an ECT Qualified Educator working as a Room Leader within a service (not appointed as the ECT of the service), you will receive your wages from the Children’s Service Award since you’re employed as a room leader, regardless of your ECT Degree. However, if your employer wants to pay over the minimum award rate as a recognition of prior experience, then that’s great!
This applies only to an early childhood/preschool teacher with a university degree, who is appointed as a Director.
A full-time employee who is appointed as a Director will be paid, in addition to the amounts payable, an annual allowance based on a percentage of the standard rate, and calculated on the basis of the number of places in the centre for which they are responsible where:
- Level 1 refers to a centre with no more than 39 places
- Level 2 refers to a centre with 40–59 places and
- Level 3 refers to a centre with 60 or more places
- A part-time employee who is appointed as a Director will be paid, in addition to the amounts payable, an allowance in accordance with the table, on a proportionate basis to the hours they work.
- An employee required by the employer to act as a Director for at least 10 consecutive working days will be paid at the rate applicable to that position for the time they are in the position.
- As an ECT you will be entitled to a paid meal break of no more than 30 minutes, and no less than 20 minutes, no later than five hours after commencing work. Provided that an employee may, by agreement with the employer, leave the premises or elect not to be on call during the meal break. In that case, the mealtime will not count as time worked and nor will payment be made for such time.
- If you are called back to perform any duties within the centre or the break is interrupted for any reason then you will be paid at time and a half for a minimum of 15 minutes and thereafter to the nearest quarter hour until an uninterrupted break, or the balance of the break is taken.
- If you are an ECT responsible for programming and planning for a group of children, you will be entitled to a minimum of two hours per week, during which you are not required to teach or supervise children or perform other duties directed by the employer, for the purpose of planning, preparing, researching and programming activities.
You will be paid overtime for all authorized work performed outside of or in excess of the ordinary or rostered hours at the rate of time and a half for the first three hours and double time thereafter.
- Part-time employees who agree to work in excess of their normal hours will be paid at the ordinary time for up to eight hours provided that the additional time worked is during the ordinary hours of operation of the early childhood service.
- No part-time employee may work in excess of eight hours in any day without the payment of overtime.
Time Off Instead Of Overtime Payment
Where you and your employer may agree you will be provided with time off instead of being paid an overtime payment for all authorized work performed outside of or in excess of the ordinary or rostered hours. Overtime taken as time off during ordinary time hours must be taken at the ordinary time rate, that is, an hour for each hour worked.
The Educational Service Teachers Award, 2010 is a detailed document that provides information on wage-related matters and covers employees working as an ECT (university qualified), in an early childhood service or preschool. The information provided within this article is only some of the basic details given in the Award.
For further information and details on any points above, please read the following reference: