According to a poll conducted among staff members at 1,000 centres and made exclusively available to Guardian Australia, over 90% of those centres currently have open positions, with half of those having three or more.
There are new measures to support the early childhood education and care workforce which include Professional Development Subsidies, Paid Practicum Subsidy and Practicum Exchange. The measures will cost $72.4 million from 2023–24 to 2026–27. The following provides details on each new measure.
The Andrews government is providing location incentives of $9,000 to $50,000 for early childhood teachers to accept positions in particular Victoria regional, rural, and metro areas that need further support as part of the new Kindergarten Workforce Strategy changes.
The NSW Government will spend $281.6 million over the course of four years on a set of initiatives designed to increase the number of employees working in the early childhood education and care industry, keep on board current teachers and educators, and give current employees more opportunities to advance their careers.
With the joint commitment to overhaul early education in NSW and Victoria, the most significant issue that the sector currently faces is the lack of Early Childhood Educators.
Goodstart Early Learning is now included as one of the 43 Australian organisations in the National Indigenous Employment Index, that represent indigenous employment. It is the only early learning provider, which includes a comprehensive snapshot of Indigenous employment representation processes and experiences.
The early education sector is struggling to find enough staff due to COVID, influenza and burnout. With services failing to achieve educator-to-child ratios due to colder weather, the relaxation of mask rules for staff, and an increase in colds and flu.
The NSW and Commonwealth governments are providing fee-free part and full qualification courses for job searchers and existing workers in the early childhood education and care sector under the NSW JobTrainer programme. JobTrainer provides fee-free training that is fully financed by the NSW and Commonwealth governments.
The going wage for a nanny in Sydney, according to nanny agencies and the Find a Babysitter website, is between $25 and $40 per hour, based on experience and qualifications. Casual childcare in the evening might cost up to $45 per hour. While the third year of a Certificate 3 certification, the award wage for a childcare worker is $25.26 per hour.
According to the most recent job figures, the need for childcare employees is at an all-time high. More than 3000 Educators are required in Sydney alone, with a total of 16,000 required across the country. In addition to the shortage, 37% of workers intend to leave the industry, many of whom are dissatisfied with their salary and working conditions, a sentiment compounded by the pandemic.
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