Workforce challenge in early childhood ed

Julia Gillard’s royal commission on early childhood education in South Australia recommends universal pre-school for three year olds, from 2026.

The former Prime Minister’s report also sets out training and development challenges for the required teaching workforce, including:

  • Initial Teacher Education programmes – “students do not always feel adequately prepared for their roles;”
  • Attrition  – “challenges with attracting the right candidates and providing the level of support needed to succeed at university;”
  • Placements – “hard to access, cause financial stress and services can’t always provide the levels of support and coaching students don’t need;” and
  • Registration – those provisionally registered, “can struggle to access the mentoring and support needed for full registration.”

As to accreditation, Commissioner Gillard recommends that a degree certified by the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority be allowed for teacher registration, with a separate register for teachers with Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership accredited qualifications.

Commissioner Gillard found “few advocates” for AITSL’s Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education Students, but she points to suggestions that universities, “should assist students to meet literacy and numeracy standards as measured by LANTITE.” 

Overall there appears to be a doctrinal divide over qualifications. Thus the report

states, “The commission is faced with clear evidence of meaningful shortages of early childhood teachers, and the impact this has on the quality of early childhood education and care overall. Further, the commission has evidence that ACECQA qualified teachers are being refused registration to teach in this situation of scarcity.”



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