Early Years Workforce Strategy

In September 2012, the Standing Council on School Education and Early Childhood published the Early Years Workforce Strategy.

The strategy is helping to build a highly-skilled and capable workforce, which is essential in fostering high-quality services and achieving the best outcomes for children.

The work of caring for and educating young children is complex. It requires enhanced qualifications and ongoing professional development. Programs delivered by qualified educators are particularly effective in improving outcomes for vulnerable children.

About the strategy

The Early Years Workforce Strategy builds on 2009's Investing in the Early Years - A National Early Childhood Development Strategy which captured the aspirations of governments that by 2020 'all children will have the best start in life to create a better future for them and for the nation'.

The Early Years Workforce Strategy provides the first commitment by all Australian governments to an agreed vision and long-term framework for the early childhood education and child care workforce. It will be used to develop areas that need help now as well as longer term policies.

What will the Strategy do?

The strategy addresses five key areas relevant to early childhood education and care:

  • Provide a professional early childhood education and care workforce through:
    • Supporting professional development and leadership opportunities
    • Promoting the professionalism of the ECEC workforce to the wider community
    • Recognising professional practice.
  • Ensure a growing workforce to continue to meet community demand by:
    • Promoting early childhood careers
    • Promoting existing training program and pathways
    • Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to build careers in ECEC.
  • Aid early childhood educators to gain the qualifications and skills the workforce needs to continue to provide high-quality care by:
    • Facilitating greater uptake of existing training initiatives
    • Supporting the higher education and training sector to continue to deliver high-quality, relevant and flexible training to the ECEC sector
    • Reviewing training initiatives.
  • Foster the creation of a responsive workforce, one which can address the needs of all children through:
    • Enhancing the capability of educators to meet the needs of children from diverse social and cultural backgrounds
    • Developing the capability of ECEC educators to further develop skills in working with children with diverse needs and connecting them with appropriate support services.
  • Facilitate collaboration amongst members of the broader early childhood development (ECD) workforce by:
    • Supporting qualifications that enhance the skills of ECEC educators to work effectively with other ECD professionals
    • Promoting evidence-based integrated service practice
    • Improve the Australian evidence base on ECD.