The government has released a strategy it says will better support the recruitment, retention, sustainability and quality of the early childhood workforce over the next 10 years.
The National Children’s Education and Care Workforce Strategy was led by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) with input from the early childhood education and care sector, the Australian Government, state and territory governments, education and training providers, peak organisations and regulatory bodies.
ACECQA says the strategy is a ‘living document’ that will adapt and respond to emerging workforce challenges over the ten-year time frame.
The strategy outlines short, medium and long-term actions across important focus areas of:
- professional recognition
Workforce professional standing, including pay and conditions, registration, and community perceptions and value.
- attraction and attention
Workforce diversity, including attracting the right people into the sector, and valuing and retaining high calibre staff
- leadership and capability
Workforce culture, including professional development, leadership and mentoring, and management capability.
Helping service providers to have strong mental health and wellbeing supports for their workforce.
- qualifications and career pathways
Supporting quality, improving consistency and reducing complexity, as well as enabling flexible career progression.
- data and evidence.
Enhanced national data collection, analysis, and strategic discussion.
The strategy also provides a roadmap to creating a more sustainable and skilled early education workforce and acknowledges the growing demand for early childhood teachers and educators.
ACECQA says implementation of the strategy is a collective responsibility between all stakeholders who will work together to achieve its aims.