Early childhood education - Randstad world of work report: the talent strategy game-changer series.

Demand for early childhood education services has grown rapidly in Australia, from 250,000 children in approved childcare 20 years ago to more than a million in care today. As more families accept the economic reality of needing two working parents, demand for services such as long-day care and afterschool care continues to exceed supply, exacerbating the skills shortages already challenging sector leaders.

The early childhood education sector employs over 140,000 people at all levels – from directors, administrators and teachers with tertiary qualifications who often work fulltime, to part-time and temporary workforce. Early childhood education has recently undergone significant transformation with the introduction of the national quality framework in January 2012 aimed at boosting staff-to-child ratios and qualification levels. The reforms include, training and development intended to help retain and up-skill existing staff while attracting new talent to the sector. 

The changes mean half of all staff at long-day care centres or preschool must have (or be working towards) a diploma level early childhood qualification or above. The remaining staff will all be required to have (or be working towards) a Certificate III level early childhood education and care qualification. An early childhood teacher is also required in services for 25 children or more and additional teachers will be required for larger services by 2020. NB: previous requirements remain in force in NSW.