Kindergarten Teachers - how rare are they?

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Robbie394
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Kindergarten Teachers - how rare are they?

Post by Robbie394 » Sun Sep 30, 2018 3:18 pm

I'd like a little feedback from people to get an idea on how hard it is to find Kindergarten teachers at the moment.

I have been working at a Goodstart centre fulltime for about two years now, in the Kindergarten room as an assistant. We had a teacher with whom I worked very successfully all through last year, before she had to leave at the end of the year because of family issues.

Throughout this year, it has been a battle to find a replacement to the point where we have now gone two out of three terms without one. We didn't get someone until around Easter, and she lasted until about July before she left. We have again been without one since then. That means we have gone two out of three terms this year without an actually qualified teacher running the room. I have been doing pretty much both jobs, trying to lead as well as do the assistant duties (I have a Cert III only), with various staff, both permanents from other rooms, and casuals, joining me as needed. A couple of weeks ago, I had six different people with me at various times.

They're looking for an ECT, and I have been told there is a severe lack of them around. Those such qualified would rather be teaching in schools than a Kindergarten. But surely this is a bit much. Is my situation that unusual? Are there any other Kindergartens that have gone through a year without an actual head teacher for this long?


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Lorina
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Re: Kindergarten Teachers - how rare are they?

Post by Lorina » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:09 pm

I'm actually surprised to hear that you are having such a difficult time finding an ECT - Could it be Good Start expectations are too high or they are trying to find someone with more experience? From what I've read in the forum and from emails I've received, some ECT's feel that are not getting a chance to start... Many ECT's feel that the pay isn't right or the conditions are not for them are prefer to work in a community preschool or a Kindy at a school since teaching recognition is better.

This is one of the reasons why I feel at times an ECT is not necessary to run the Preschool teaching program... Diploma trained Educators can do as good as a job in the Preschool as an ECT trained.

Hoping as the year comes to the end, more ECT's will graduate and coming into the new year, you will find a good ECT to run the Preschool room.

:geek:,
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Robbie394
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Re: Kindergarten Teachers - how rare are they?

Post by Robbie394 » Thu Oct 04, 2018 6:58 am

Earlier in the year, a couple of ECTs were actually offered the role, but suddenly turned it down, before we finally did get a teacher, but she left after a few months. it now seems to have gone quiet, which is particularly concerning with the end of the year coming up, and with child assessments having to be done. Who is going to be ultimately responsible for that?

I'd also like to ask about outside assistance for teachers. When we did have a teacher earlier in the year, there was another woman who came in to talk to her. She was part of a body who assists teachers with various issues in the job, but I can't remember her title. I'm concerned, especially when we have area managers and suchlike coming in, that I'm going to get more and more unfair demands from them, and I would l like to have someone to go to if this gets much worse (besides a union).

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Lorina
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Re: Kindergarten Teachers - how rare are they?

Post by Lorina » Fri Oct 05, 2018 3:01 am

I understand your concerns... if you are having the role of the ECT as well as your other responsibilities it can be demanding and overwhelming!

In regards to child assessments, it is the duty of the room leader or the ECT, if you are the one responsible for doing it then I would suggest you start now rather than rush it at the end of the year. However, if it's put on your shoulders I would be asking to be paid as a Diploma since you are doing the job as a Diploma even though you are a Cert 3...

Also, your director should be taking just as much responsibility, if your area manager comes in, then your Director should be the one to explain the situation...also in the meantime, your Director should step in until a replacement is found or hire a casual at the least. How are you covering ratios?

The burden should not fall on you...

You don't need to contact a union regarding this issue. Contact your regulatory authority... they deal with compliance issues, NQF etc.

Regulatory Authority

Hope this helps!

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Robbie394
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Re: Kindergarten Teachers - how rare are they?

Post by Robbie394 » Fri Oct 05, 2018 4:23 am

Certainly, the area manager is aware of what's going on, but we had a meeting a couple of months ago, where she, and another one... Early Learning Consultant, I think? Anyway, she's been the main one, and they have given the impression a couple of times that they can think of nothing but our Exceeding rating, and they pretty much ignored all the various issues the whole centre was having with a rash of staff leading at the time, just wanting us to lift our standards, which they thought were low. It's this that has me concerned that I could get a hard time from them.

I have usually had various permanent staff from other rooms helping me, or casuals who have come in. They have been of varying quality, although even the good ones, like the permanents, can still struggle, since they're not sure about the routine that is set, etc.

There are usually enough to cover ratios in the room, but this "under roof" thing is used at times, and, to be honest, I'm at a loss trying to understand the ratios anyway. But, overall, there is adequate staffing in the room (except over lunches, where we have rest pause, so there's usually just one person for two hours).

A good part of this is I have built up a stronger and stronger bond with the children (as well as their families, who have been very supportive overall) as the year has gone on. But I'm so worn out with having to think of things to do every week, try and write up programmes (I'm really not very good with that, especially all the "cycle" demands they want), keep running things over and over, while still trying to attend to some back up duties as well, when I feel like just handing it over to someone else who can do it better. And, of course, I'm not getting paid extra for it.

That is, except for early in the year, when, for a few weeks, I found an Extra Duty Allowance on my pay slips - one cent an hour. I'm not sure if that was a mistake, or was meant to just rub my face in it all. But I'd like to think I've made every one of those cents count. :-)

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