1 November 2021
Access to quality early childhood education and care (ECEC) is essential to achieving gender equality. (If you want to know more about why, check out our recent ENews on the topic.)
And demand for ECEC services is growing. According to Australian Government labour market projections, the childhood education and care sector needs a 20 per cent increase in educators between 2019 and 2024 (around 30,000 people) to keep up with demand.
ECEC is, understandably, a heavily regulated sector. People working as early childhood educators, even at the entry level, must hold or be working towards Certificate III qualifications in ECEC, and at least 50 per cent of educators in a service must be at least Diploma qualified. There are also strict ratios of educators to children at all times during the day depending on the age group. Without sufficient staffing, ECEC services need to reduce their capacity, thus limiting options for working parents.
As both a provider of ECEC services and as part of our gender equality mission, YWCA Canberra is dedicated to building a pipeline of qualified and confident ECEC professionals. Through our registered training organisation (RTO 1373), we provide both Certificate III and Diploma qualifications in ECEC and have just received approval from the Australian Skills Quality Authority (ASQA) to offer brand new versions of these courses. This means our students can gain the most up-to-date skills and knowledge, which they can take into a wide range of careers.
We also understand that ECEC is a professional sector. Although it might look like children are just having fun playing, early childhood educators are trained to develop learning opportunities through play. They structure their programs with reference to research and educational best practice to provide opportunities to explore, observe, experiment and solve problems, during the crucial first five years of children’s lives. This early education has life-long positive impacts on children.
We are proud to be part of this growing sector, and to help people passionate about children’s development to embrace their careers. We look forward to our next intake of ECEC students, with timing dependent on government funding decisions taking place in November.