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Early Childhood Education Pre School Childcare in Australia

Early childhood education under qualifications threat.  In December last year there was considerable media attention around the Federal Government’s redirection of Early Childhood Quality Fund allocations for pay increases for child care workers to professional development.

This is really only the tip of the iceberg and there are more insidious changes brought about by the previous and current federal governments that threaten the quality of early childhood/childcare delivery, and have the potential to undermine the 2009 reforms to early childhood…..

 

 

 ….We now have staff who are only enrolled in and have commenced a Certificate III or a Diploma being counted as qualified. Furthermore, once staff have completed 50 per cent of an early childhood teacher degree qualification, or if they already hold an approved diploma-level qualification, they can be counted as an early childhood teacher.

Similarly, a person who holds a primary teaching qualification that includes at least a focus on children aged 5 to 8 years old will be recognised as equivalent to an early childhood teacher.

There is considerable angst in the profession about these changes, and particularly the recognition of primary teaching degrees and TAFE/RTO diplomas as equivalent to a university early childhood teaching degree. While the changes have been noted as temporary and to be reviewed in 2016 there is extreme concern that they will become permanent.

We now have reports from the early childhood field of students who are enrolled in teaching degrees taking leave from their courses because they are being employed as teachers or degree qualified educators. Reports from the TAFE sector indicate similar actions by students part-way through their diplomas and certificate studies. This is another example of the implications of the actions of the government in undermining early childhood education and particularly the place of degree-qualified teachers.

Will early childhood teaching degrees become obsolete as potential students select a Diploma course to enable them to be counted as teachers under these recent changes?

 

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