To work as an educator in many types of early education and care services and school age care settings, you need a qualification – either a university degree or a Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification.
The quality of the workforce is critical to early childhood education achieving the desired learning outcomes. The single most important element of quality is the interaction between child and educator, and training and qualifications improve these interactions. Australia’s National Early Childhood Development Strategy, which paved the way for the development of the National Quality Framework for early education and care services, states:
“A primary determinant of quality in early childhood development service provision is the workforce – their qualification levels and ongoing training, their motivation, and their interaction with families and children. Workforce issues are widely regarded as the key challenge for achieving the vision for children. The early childhood workforce is central to delivering early childhood development services and bringing about fundamental cultural change required for responsive service delivery.”
As well as accredited qualifications, it is important to engage in ongoing professional learning. The ECA Code of Ethics states “In relation to the profession I will: engage in critical reflection, ongoing professional learning and support research that builds my knowledge and that of the profession”. Ongoing professional learning supports educators to increase skills, knowledge and proficiency, be aware of emerging trends and explore current and new interests.
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