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.
Before the recent announcement, there were an estimated 6000 vacancies for educators in birth-5 settings, with a predicted 39,000 educators needed by 2023.
A solid education and care workforce strategy that attracts and keeps early childhood educators will be directly responsible for the reform. Currently, the below-average compensation and working conditions cause a high staff turnover as employees leave the industry in search of more lucrative prospects. This greatly impacts children’s learning as they cannot establish and build meaningful, positive relationships with a consistent caregiver.
This week's announcement also mentioned incentives to promote enrollment in early childhood education programmes. Some Eastern colleges are attempting to offer degrees that can be completed in as little as 18 months or as little as 3 years. Many may provide qualified applicants for Certificate III and Diplomas up to a year of credit, drastically cutting their study time.
A form of art, teaching. Understanding how children learn, the theories that guide practice, and experience in how to successfully educate Australia's diverse youngsters all require time and dedication. Rushing teachers through their early childhood education degrees won't produce high-quality results and will be detrimental to our kids.
Also, Whether these States have the infrastructure required to keep this promise is a crucial factor at this early stage. With 44 per cent of regional families and 85 per cent of remote families residing in a "childcare desert," there will be significant challenges in rural and distant locations under the current system.
The underprivileged kids in Australia stand to gain a lot from regular preschool attendance. According to AEDC data, children in Australia's poorest regions are three times more likely than those in wealthier regions to exhibit developmental risk. This figure might be decreased with universal access. The equality gap cannot be closed by attendance alone, though. These kids want excellent, easily available, play-based experiences offered by qualified and skilled teachers.
Few people understand the complexities of balancing the differing demands of this role. Childcare is often seen as only child care, and this is perhaps why it is underrated and undervalued. The Education and Care Workforce Strategy would need to attract, retain, value and appropriately pay educators for the vital work that they do with young children.
It’s One Thing To Extend Preschool. But Where Is The Supply Of The Remarkable Teachers We Need, Rachel Hedger, Australian Association For Research and Education