Employers push to reduce ratios for early childhood teachers
The Australian Childcare Alliance NSW (ACA NSW), the peak body representing for profit or long day care employers in the early childhood sector, has made a submission to the Effect of Red Tape on Child Care Commonwealth Senate Committee, calling for a reduction in ratios.
Under current legislation in NSW, one teacher must be employed for 25 to 39 children (centres with less than 25 children must have access to an early childhood teacher 20% of the time), two teachers are required for 40-59 children, three teachers are required for 60-79 children and four teachers are required for 80 or more children. In all other states there is a requirement to employ only one early childhood teacher regardless of the number of children in attendance until 2020. ACA states that in NSW four degree qualified teachers are required to be employed where one can be employed for the same number of children in all other jurisdictions.
ACA also states that in 2016 changes to staff: child ratios (in particular for two to three year olds) increased the cost of provision of early childhood education and care. It also states the shortage of qualified early childhood teachers is adding to the strain on centres, with services being forced to employ inexperienced teachers from overseas and rely on diploma qualified educators ‘’with experience instead, to lead their educational program and teach children”.
This was an extract from an article published in the current issue of Newsmonth
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