13 Sep 2022
Throughout 2021, Australian governments and sector stakeholders closely collaborated to develop Shaping Our Future , a ten-year strategy (2022–31) to ensure a sustainable, high-quality children’s education and care workforce.
In August 2022, Education Ministers endorsed the Shaping Our Future: Implementation and Evaluation Plan detailing how the 21 national workforce actions will be progressed, monitored and reviewed, including 13 short-term actions to be progressed by the end of 2024.
Implementation is a collective responsibility between all stakeholders and requires collaborative effort to achieve the strategy’s objectives. Representatives from all governments, the children’s education and care sector and key national stakeholders will continue to be involved in the implementation and evaluation of the strategy to ensure it remains fit for purpose over the next decade.
Since the release of the strategy in October 2021, governments and stakeholders have progressed a range of new and enhanced workforce initiatives aligned to its focus areas.
ACT-specific initiatives include:
- Under ‘Focus-area 1 – Professional recognition’ is developing an ACT specific ECEC workforce strategy under ‘Set up for Success’ the aim of which is to raise the profile of the ECEC workforce, valuing the work of educators, and supporting increased professional recognition. It will be developed to align with the National Children’s Education and Care Workforce Strategy and will include developing educator professional standards, increasing coaching and mentoring opportunities, and establishing a professional learning fund for non-government educators.
- Under ‘Focus Area 2 – Attraction and retention’ is an increase to the ACT early childhood teaching scholarships annually from four places to 16. Some places are designated for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander educators.
- Under ‘Focus Area 3 – Leadership and capability’ are trauma-responsive practice resources developed by the Australian Childhood Foundation plus Trauma Responsive Professional Support Networks, and a Champions Network of 25 leading early childhood practitioners who meet regularly to extend learning, skills and capability and receive additional resources, mentoring and supports. Also established under this focus are Communities of Practice between ACT public schools and ECECs and Preschool Pathways Partners to work with educators in ACT public preschools and ECECs to build their knowledge, confidence and capacity in inclusive practices and transitions.
The Shaping Our Future: Implementation and Evaluation Plan is available to download on the ACECQA website , along with a summary of new and enhanced workforce related initiatives.