Child Care Industry News April 12, 2016 |®
Child Care Industry News
April 12, 2016
Welcome this week an exclusive editorial by Liam McNicholas on why men are still under-represented in early childhood and read about a commitment by the South Australian government to boost funding for early childhood to increase staff numbers. Also why not take a couple of moments out and do our Child Care Survey, your opinion is important.
Men in ECEC
Why the ongoing battle?
by Liam McNicholas
Once a year or so, another report, research document or news article appears that highlights the low numbers of male teachers working in early childhood and primary schools. Another was released in the past month, and tells familiar stories of isolation and suspicion.

The problem is tricky to solve, and has been for decades. It's tricky because the problem isn't really "the problem". It's a symptom of a number of inter-connected and entrenched issues, which are particularly thorny in early childhood.

The issues are now well known. Early childhood education and care (ECEC) is still often viewed as "women's work". This is borne out in the statistics that, at last count, 97% of the sector was female. Because there are so few men in the sector, the ones that are there are often viewed with either suspicion or outright hostility. Which means that fewer men will want to work in ECEC… which means that the men that do will be viewed with suspicion… and so it goes on.
Staffing boost for SA ECEC services
In a significant boost for the early childhood education and care sector in South Australia the State Government has pledged an additional $60 million over four years to hire 100 additional early childhood workers for public preschools.

The Government says the qualified educators are being hired to keep child to educator ratios low and the additional funds will provide at least one educator to every 10 children in public preschools with the greatest need. The funding will also ensure that in other public preschools the ratio does not exceed 1 educator for every 11 children.

Education and Child Development Minister Susan Close said the investment would help give South Australia's young people the best possible start in life.

"The first five years of a child's life lay the foundation for their learning, health and overall development," she said.

"Delivering smaller educator-to-child ratios ensures that every child, regardless of where they live, has access to quality education, supervision and support. Not only will children get great support when attending preschool, they will be nurtured and prepared to take on the challenges ahead, " she said.

South Australia has a strong track record in the provision of early childhood services and ACECQA's latest snapshot shows that it has the highest proportion of services as meeting or exceeding the standards imposed by the National Quality Standard.
Early childhood professionals
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