Early childhood education is critical to laying the foundation children need to succeed in school and beyond. Early childhood teachers (ECTs) are instrumental to children’s development and lifting the quality of early learning environments.
However, Australia has a significant shortage of ECTs and, without intervention, will fail to meet future workforce requirements.
The Australian Government predicts that the sector will need to fill an additional 29,000 ECT jobs in Australia by 2023. If action is not taken soon, one-third of preschool services will not have a trained teacher on staff within four years. Upskilling the current workforce is one potential strategy to increase the number and quality of bachelor-qualified teachers working in the early years.
Future Tracks commissioned this research to better understand what can be done to support the existing diploma-trained educator workforce to upskill to a bachelor qualification and ECT role. The research focused on identifying the barriers and motivations this cohort of educators experiences in relation to upskilling.
The research found that 84% of educators surveyed had considered upskilling to become ECTs, but said they faced major barriers in doing so. This is reflected in the relatively small number of educators choosing to take advantage of current upskilling opportunities.
Source: Dandolopartners 2019, 'Upskilling in early childhood education: opportunities for the current workforce', Future Tracks, [Place of publication not identified], viewed 03 Nov 2020, https://www.futuretracks.org.au/upskilling/upskilling-research.