First national census preschools, kindergartens & child care
- Minister for School Education, Early Childhood and Youth
The first national census of Australia’s preschools, kindergartens and childcare services reveals an increase in the number of workers with relevant qualifications and finds that overall job satisfaction is high across the sector, Minister for Early Childhood Peter Garrett said today.
Mr Garrett said the National Early Childhood Education and Care (ECEC) Workforce Census 2010 was carried out by the Australian Government with state and territory governments.
“The National ECEC Workforce Census provides new and important information for governments, the early childhood sector, services and the community of 140,000 staff employed in the early childhood education and care workforce,” Mr Garrett said.
“This is the first time we have comprehensive and nationally consistent information on the early childhood workforce which can be used to help develop government policy.”
Some of the findings of the census include:
- More than two thirds of ECEC staff hold a qualification at Certificate III or above;
- Almost 80 per cent of staff in Long Day Care have an ECEC qualification;
- About 40 per cent of ECEC staff in long day care and preschool services already hold a Diploma level qualification or better; and
- Teachers in preschool services are three times more likely to have four year degrees than three year degrees.
Mr Garrett said the Australian Government’s early childhood reform agenda included the introduction of a National Quality Framework to develop a national standard in early childhood education and care, and the census would play an important part in this reform.
“Our ongoing focus on improving the qualifications and skills of the workforce will help ensure that Australia’s children are cared for and educated by the best trained workforce possible,” he said.
This initiative builds on the package of measures funded by the Australian Government to train and retain a quality early childhood workforce. These include:
- $115 million to support an expected 8000 people per year, including existing child care workers, to gain a vocational education and training qualification in early childhood;
- $53.9 million for 1500 additional ongoing university places for students wishing to undertake early childhood education qualifications;
- $12.4 million to reduce by about half the HECS HELP debt of early childhood teachers who work in areas of high need; and
- $9.2 million over four years for a Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Initiative to make it easier for early childhood workers to obtain or upgrade their qualifications.
The National ECEC Workforce Census report is available at www.deewr.gov.au/EarlyChildhood.