Charles Sturt University (CSU) academics said that the government needs more than increased funding for childcare centre staff to attract and retain qualified professionals.
According to CSU School of Teacher Education Early Childhood course director Carol Burgess and NSW State President of EARLY Childhood Australia (ECA), the national quality form which included wage increases is a step towards resolving workforce issues but more still needs to be done to improve wages and working conditions for all staff working in the sector.
“From a substantial body of research, we know that a strong relationship exists between the education, experience, and compensation of early childhood educators and the quality of teaching and care in early learning programs,” Burgess said.
She further stated that families, government and the early childhood sector all want quality education for their children. To achieve this, the child care sector should be willing to provide sufficient wage increases to attract and retain qualified staff. She said that the government initiative to increase wages for early child care educators will help to retain qualified professionals, but more investment needs to be done to effectively retain and attract professionals.
“The sector requires further and greater investment if we wish to attract and retain qualified professionals,” she said.
Head of CSU School of Teacher Education Professor Tara Brabazon said that it is important to remember that early childhood education is going through a revolution in accreditation, credentialing, methods of learning and teaching not just in Australia but all over the world. As such, she said that due credit should be given to early childhood staff who are doing their job well.
“We need to acknowledge, through our actions, the professionalism and respect so deserved by our early childhood educators”, she added.
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