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Early Childhood Teacher


									Early Childhood Teacher                                          New South Wales (NSW)
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                        July 2009
Labour market rating:            Shortage
Comment: Shortages are evident in the long day care sector.

Occupational demand
Demand for early childhood teachers increased further in 2008-09 due to higher underlying demand
for early childhood services, rising government expenditure on these services and a substantial
increase in the Child Care Tax Rebate from July 2008. The number of NSW long day care centres
registered with the National Childcare Accreditation Council increased by four per cent over the
year to June 2009 – slightly below the average of 5.4 per cent per annum over the previous five
years. Census data show that employment of early childhood teachers grew by 1.8 per cent a year
from 2001 to 2006 and it is likely that employment has grown at a similar rate since then. The
consensus of industry contacts was that demand for the occupation remained firm.
Occupational supply
DEEWR estimates that supply from entry-level early childhood teacher training courses increased
by 16 per cent in the three years to 2008. The training rate (entry-level course completions as a
percentage of employed early childhood teachers) is 10.0 per cent a year based on estimated
employment of 7000. While this rate is significantly higher than that of primary and secondary
teachers, some early childhood teachers teach the early years of primary school and wastage from
the occupation is also significant (estimated at 8.8 per cent a year between 2001 and 2006, based on
Census data). Local training is therefore sufficient to offset wastage and allow for modest
employment growth. Net immigration of early childhood teachers to NSW from overseas is a
relatively minor supply source, averaging 37 persons a year in the three years to 2007-08.
Employer and industry comments/current labour market
A DEEWR survey of employers who had recently advertised for early childhood teachers found
that 64 per cent of vacancies were filled within six weeks of advertising, which was similar to the
result in 2008. The recruitment experience of employers, however, varied markedly. About a third
of those surveyed managed to fill their vacancies with little difficulty and were able to select the
best of several good applicants. In general, kindergartens and pre-schools which kept usual school
hours and holidays were able to fill their vacancies with little difficulty. A number of long day care
centres were also able to fill vacancies with few problems and reported that the response to
advertisements was considerably better than it had been in recent years. However, this was not
typical, as most of the long day care centres surveyed were unable to fill their vacancies or had
considerable difficulty in doing so. Unfilled vacancies were distributed across a range of Sydney
suburbs and regional cities and towns. Private and community long day care centres experienced
particular problems in filling positions, with about a fifth not receiving a single application from a
qualified early childhood teacher. When employers did receive applications from qualified
teachers, there was often a mismatch between the hours of work offered by the employer and those
sought by the applicants. In a number of cases employers were only able to fill positions on a part-
time or casual basis even though their preference was for a full-time employee.
Labour market outlook
Underlying demand for child care services is likely to be adversely affected by the lower employment
levels expected in 2009-10. Offsetting factors include further increases in the Child Care Benefit and
Child Care Tax Rebate from 1 July 2009 and increased Australian Government and NSW Government
funding for pre-school education under the National Partnership on Early Childhood Education. On
balance, demand for early childhood teachers is likely to increase modestly in 2009-10. Shortages
should remain confined to long day care centres and some regional locations.
NSW Labour Economics Office                                                   July 2009
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher                                               Victoria
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                        June 2009
Labour market rating:                Shortage

Occupational demand
Demand for this profession depends on population trends, government funding and policy for
pre-school education. The Victorian Government funds services in a variety of settings, to deliver a
kindergarten program for eligible children in the year prior to school. A Kindergarten Fee Subsidy
is available to reduce fees for eligible children and their families. The 2009 Victorian State budget
will provide $13.6m to include delivery of an additional 4000 kindergarten places. New Children’s
Services Regulations 2009 for Victoria came into effect in May, with the main provisions to be
phased in over the next five years. Among the changes is that all standard services (including long
day care) will be required to employ qualified teachers. According to the Australian Bureau of
Statistics (ABS) census data for Victoria, employment for this occupation grew by just over 10 per
cent between 2001 and 2006, reaching 3184 in Victoria in 2006. ABS 2006 census data also
indicate 80 per cent of pre primary school teachers are employed in the education and training
sector, while 14 per cent work in the health care and social assistance industry.

Occupational supply
ABS 2006 census data indicate approximately 58 per cent of employed kindergarten and preschool
teachers in Victoria hold a bachelor degree or higher qualification, with an additional 34 per cent
holding a Diploma or Advanced Diploma. To qualify as an early childhood teacher completion of at
least four years of tertiary study, including at least one year of teacher education study is required.
The most common qualifications are a four-year undergraduate childhood qualification or a
‘pathways’ course allowing those with an approved diploma in children’s services to complete a
degree in early childhood education. DEEWR estimates that in Victoria, 103 people completed an
early childhood teaching qualification in 2007, below the average of 124 since 2001. Similarly
there appears to be a downward trend in the number of people commencing an early childhood
teaching qualification since 2001, with 191 commencing in 2008. Kindergarten teachers are not
required to be registered in Victoria.

Employer and industry comments/current labour market
The Survey of Employers who Recently Advertised (SERA) found 72 per cent of vacancies were
filled, and there was less than 1 suitable applicant per vacancy on average. The majority of
employers were looking for relevant tertiary qualifications plus experience, although some were
prepared to employ graduates without experience. In addition, employers were looking for first aid
certificates, a current police check and valid working with children certificate.
A recurring theme from the employers was that there was a perception among applicants with
relevant tertiary qualifications that their work was under-valued and a feeling of isolation.
Employers suggested this caused many qualified early childhood teachers to move into primary
school teaching because of better support network, wages and conditions of employment (such as
school holidays), affecting potential supply of applicants for early childhood teacher positions. The
majority of employers surveyed considered occupational turnover amongst existing pre-primary
school teachers to be low, with those who indicated this to be the case also confirming they paid
higher wages than the norm.

Labour market outlook
The shortage of pre-primary school teachers in Victoria is expected to persist over the next six

Labour Economics Office Victoria                                                           June 2009
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
Early childhood (pre-primary school) teacher                                        Queensland
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                      June 2009
Labour market rating             Shortage
Comment: Shortages are prevalent in the childcare sector

Occupational demand
Early childhood (pre-primary) teachers plan and conduct education programs for young children up
to the age of eight. They are employed in public and private schools, preschools, child care services
and kindergartens. Demand for early childhood (pre-primary) school teachers depends on
enrolments, which in turn is dependant on state population, government funding and policy. With
97 per cent of eligible children attending prep since its full implementation in 2008, and the State
population increasing by 2.5 per cent over the year to December 2008, demand for early childhood
(pre-primary) school teachers has been constant.

Occupational supply
Entry to this profession is via a four-year bachelor degree with a major in early childhood education
or completion of a postgraduate qualification in early childhood education. Teachers in Queensland
must be registered with the Queensland College of Teachers, and possess a suitability card (Blue
Card) issued by the Commission for Children and Young People and Child Guardian. Data from
the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations indicate that commencement
numbers for early childhood education courses have risen steadily between 2003 (790) and 2007
(1046), however the numbers of students graduating with these teaching qualifications have
declined, from 646 in 2003 to 489 in 2007.

Employer and industry comments/current labour market
The majority of vacancies in this year’s survey were for positions in child care centres, and only
57.1 per cent of vacancies were filled within six weeks of advertising. Around 80 per cent of all
applicants were considered unsuitable by employers because of lack of qualifications or experience,
with contacts advising of high levels of interest from primary school teachers. Employers from the
child care sector reported difficulties in filling vacancies caused by poor perceptions of the
childcare industry and an inability to compete with the education sector in terms of conditions and
level of remuneration for pre-primary school teachers. A number of these contacts believe that the
Commonwealth’s early childhood policy of enhanced access to early childhood education will lead
to an increase in vacancies for pre-primary school teachers in child care centres and community
kindergartens, and exacerbate recruitment issues. However, Education Queensland contacts
advised that the department conducts a major recruitment exercise from October to February, and
experiences few difficulties attracting staff, while employers from private schools agreed that
recruitment of pre-primary school teachers is easier at the start and end of the school year.

Labour market outlook
Demand for pre-primary school teachers will increase as Queensland’s population expands and
government early childhood policy is implemented. The Australian Government has pledged $252
million to Queensland over the next five years to enhance access to early childhood education in the
year before school, while the State Government has announced a new kindergarten program
expected to provide employment opportunities for approximately 850 (FTE) additional early
childhood teachers in Queensland by 2014. This involves the establishment of 240 new or extra
kindergarten services and the gradual implementation of kindergarten programs in other settings
including long day care. While the education sector is not experiencing difficulties recruiting pre-
primary school teachers, childcare centres reported significant difficulties in competing with the
education sector for qualified and experienced employees. With graduate numbers falling,
shortages in the pre-primary school teacher workforce may strengthen over the coming year.

Labour Economics Office Queensland                                                        June 2009
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR)
Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher                                  South Australia
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                      June 2009
Labour market rating                 No Shortage

Occupational demand
Early childhood school teachers mainly work in the education and training industry, particularly in
pre-primary school education. Demand for early childhood school teachers is influenced by
population trends and the number of children eligible to attend pre-school education programs.
Over the five years to 2008, ABS estimated resident population data for South Australia show that
the number of four-year-old children declined 2.5 per cent (-476 persons). Over the same period,
the number of government-funded pre-schools within the state remained largely unchanged, at
around 416 per annum. Between 2001 and 2006, ABS Census data revealed a 5.6 per cent increase
in early childhood teachers, from 975 to 1030. Demand is also influenced by the high proportion of
females working in the occupation, who are more likely than males to have breaks in their careers
for family reasons, and are also more likely to work part-time. Around 98 per cent of early
childhood teachers are female and 48 per cent work part-time hours. The South Australian
Government budgeted for a 0.5 per cent reduction in pre-school enrolments to 17 780 in 2009-10
compared to 17 870 in 2008-09.
Occupational supply
The major source of supply comes from university training, via completion of a Bachelor of Early
Childhood Education. Over the five years to 2008, there were was an average of 116 persons per
annum completing a relevant degree qualification. This represents an increase on the previous five
year average of approximately 100 completions per annum. Student commencements dipped
slightly below the longer term average earlier this decade but subsequently increased to their
highest level in at least ten years in 2006. Although commencement numbers have since fallen
back, they remain above the long-term average. Preliminary estimates suggest that occupational
supply may have increased significantly in 2009 and although there will likely be fewer
completions in 2010 and 2011 compared to 2009, it is expected that they will nonetheless remain
relatively high. Not all graduates with this qualification become early childhood teachers, some
may choose to be child care coordinators.
Employer and industry comments/current labour market
The SA Department of Education and Children’s Services (DECS) is the largest employer of pre-
primary school teachers within the State. Recruitment of pre-primary school teachers in the
government sector is managed centrally, and DECS reported that there were currently no vacant
teaching positions within South Australian government preschools. A survey of recently advertised
early childhood teacher vacancies showed that 100 per cent were filled within six weeks. The same
fill rate was recorded in 2008. There were 10.7 applicants per vacancy (compared to 30 in 2008)
but since many of these were rated as unsuitable, the ratio of suitable applicants per vacancy was
2.4 (15 in 2008). Most of the positions advertised were for replacement personnel. Information
supplied by contacts suggest that staff turnover tends to be high, mainly due to breaks in
employment rather than movement between jobs. The occupation is rated as not being in shortage.
Labour market outlook
The current economic downturn is not expected to significantly impact on demand. As noted
above, the projected supply of new graduates from university training is forecast to increase
slightly. Shortages are not expected to emerge over the next year. However, given recent sharp
increases in the number of births in South Australia, demand for early childhood teachers is likely
to increase in the longer term.

Labour Economics Office South Australia                                                   June 2009
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
Early Childhood Teacher                                                      Western Australia
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                          June 2009   2006
Labour market rating:                 No shortage
Comment :

Occupational demand
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census of 2006 showed that there were 1578 early
childhood teachers in WA. This was an increase of 12 per cent from the 2001 census. The WA
State Government Department of Education and Training (WADET) reported that in February
2009, there were 1402 early childhood teachers, plus another 120 education support teachers
working in early childhood, employed by WADET. There were enrolments of 39 085 early
childhood (also known as pre-compulsory) students in 810 schools (including 506 state primary
pre-schools, 57 district high schools with pre-schools and other arrangements such as education
support schools and schools of the air). For the same period non-government schools reported that
there were 17 304 early childhood students at 291 primary and primary-secondary schools, and pre-
schools in WA.
Occupational supply
Qualification is by way of a four years full time equivalent education degree, or completion of a
relevant bachelor degree followed by a post graduate diploma of education, specialising in early
childhood. Courses are offered at Curtin University of Technology, Edith Cowan University,
Murdoch University and University of Notre Dame Australia. Some courses cover early childhood
and include primary education while some are early childhood only. Hence, determination of
university graduate supply numbers is difficult. Overseas migration has provided a limited supply
of early childhood teachers to WA in recent years with nine people arriving in 2007-08.
Employer and industry comments/current labour market
DEEWR research of recently advertised vacancies for early childhood teachers in the private school
sector showed that this occupation was very rarely advertised, with only one recently advertised
vacancy for an early childhood teacher recorded. The vacancy was reported to be easily filled.
WADET has advised that there are 810 state funded schools that employ early childhood teachers in
WA. WADET reports that as at 31st March 2009 they had received 1289 combined early childhood
and primary school teacher applications for placement (there is no separate data available for early
childhood teachers). Approximately 569 applicants were placed. Although this indicates there is a
large pool of teachers available to fill future vacancies, some applicants waiting for employment
have nominated limited locations for placement, which effectively reduces the availability of
teachers. This can lead to recruitment difficultly in country areas. WADET has advised that the
1289 applicants consisted of new graduates and persons who had previously left teaching applying
for re-entry. They also advised that there was a drop in the number of teacher resignations and
retirements due to the current economic climate, leading to a decreased number of teaching
positions available in 2009. Overall, employers have indicated there will be no difficulties in filling
early childhood teacher vacancies for the 2009 school year.
Labour market outlook
The labour market outlook for early childhood teachers is expected to continue to remain strong.
The population of children aged between 0-14 increased in WA by approximately seven percent
between June 2003 and June 2008 and the total fertility rate has also trended upwards to two per
cent in 2007. This coupled with the WA State Government increased expenditure for education
announced in the 2009-10 budget is expected to provide growth in employment opportunities for
early childhood teachers in the long term.

Labour Economics Office, WA
Department of Education Employment & Workplace Relations                                    June 2009
Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher                                            Tasmania
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                        July 2009
Labour market rating                 No shortage.

Occupational demand
Tasmanian school children are required by law to attend school full-time from the age of five when
they enter school at the preparatory level referred to as ‘Prep’ in Tasmania. However, over 90 per
cent of children attend pre-primary school or ‘kindergarten’ as it is generally known in Tasmania,
before they are five. Demand for pre-primary teachers is primarily driven by the number of
children between the ages of four and five entering the school system each year. Data from the ABS
Census indicates that the number of children in this age category dropped by around six per cent
between 2001 and 2006. Class sizes can also influence demand, but in Tasmania class sizes for
kindergarten have been capped at 23, since 2003, and at 25 for prep and year one classes. The
number of pre-primary teachers recorded at the 2006 Census was 284, down by 8.4 per cent
compared with the number recorded at the 2001 Census which may be an indication of a reduced
demand for teachers at the pre-primary level.

Occupational supply
The main entry path for kindergarten teachers is to undertake a Bachelor of Education (Early
Childhood Education). The University of Tasmania offers a four-year Bachelor of Education course
in Launceston, in which students can specialise in early childhood education, or primary studies. In
addition there is a two-year Bachelor of Teaching degree, which is available to students with a first
degree from either the University of Tasmania or another recognised tertiary institution. However,
those graduates are more likely to enter into secondary and tertiary school teaching. Between 2001
and 2006 the number of people completing the Bachelor of Education degree from the University of
Tasmania has consistently been around 155 per year. This may indicate a possible oversupply of
pre-primary and primary school teachers given that student numbers have been in decline during the
same period. However industry sources suggest that an oversupply may be offset by the fact that
53.5 per cent of early childhood teachers are at least 48 years old, according to 2006 Census data,
and that over the next eight years or so there will be an increase in the number of people leaving the

Employer and industry comments/current labour market
No employers advertised for a kindergarten/early childhood education teacher in the lead-up to this
report, which possibly reflects a very low demand level. The majority of vacancies occur in the
State system and these are easily filled by university graduates. Attracting teachers to the more
remote locations in the State particularly the west and north-west coasts was cited as a problem for
both state and privately funded schools. According to industry sources this fluctuates somewhat
and often depends on other industries. For example, when the mining industry is expanding on the
west coast of Tasmania, it is often easier to recruit other occupations, including teachers, when they
are partners of those in mining occupations. It is worth noting that at the 2006 Census 97 per cent
of early childhood teachers were female.

Labour market outlook
Declining student numbers and a steady supply of graduates suggest the occupation will remain in
balance for at least the next 12 months in urban areas. Some recruitment difficulties occur in regional
areas, particularly the west and north-west, from time to time. However, on balance a rating of no
shortage is justified.

Labour Economics Office, Tasmania                                                      July 2009
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations
Early Childhood (Pre-Primary School) Teacher                             Northern Territory
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                      June 2009
Labour market rating                 No shortage

Occupational demand
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data show there were 90 early childhood (pre-
primary school) teachers employed in the Northern Territory (NT) in 2006, which is a decline in
employment since 2001. ABS labour force data indicate the number of teachers employed in the NT
since 2006 has not changed significantly. The NT Department of Education, Employment and
Training’s 2007/2008 Annual Report shows a marginal increase in the number of pre-primary school
students enrolled in government schools in 2007. Additionally, there were an additional ten teachers
and twenty-six Indigenous assistant teachers employed in remote schools.
Occupational supply
Charles Darwin University (CDU) and the Batchelor Institute of Indigenous Tertiary Education offer
Bachelor level courses that qualify graduates to teach in early childhood. There has been growth in the
number of students training in teaching courses at CDU since 2003. However, there has not yet been a
corresponding increase in completions. There is a strong reliance on interstate recruitment to fill
vacancies in remote and very remote locations. Additionally, some independent schools were
recruiting internationally because they had been unable to attract suitable candidates within Australia.
With the pay rise negotiated for next year, public sector employers commented that NT Teachers
would be amongst the highest paid in Australia and that this should help increase the supply of
teachers willing to work in the NT.
Employer and industry comments/current labour market
Employers contacted filled their advertised vacancies although recruiting was more difficult in
regional areas. Some employers commented that there are teachers delaying retirement or returning to
work due to the global financial crisis affects on their superannuation.
School location was the main factor affecting the labour market for this occupation. Provincial
schools (in Darwin and Palmerston) are popular with both local and interstate teachers and filled their
vacancies easily. Remote schools found it more difficult to attract teachers and felt they had very few
applicants to choose from when recruiting. Timing was an important factor affecting the level of
recruitment difficulty and vacancies occurring before the beginning of the school year were more
easily filled than those occurring later in the year.
High turnover was problematic in remote and very remote schools but was not considered an issue in
Darwin and Palmerston. Vacancies in provincial schools commonly occurred because of new
positions due to increased student numbers, transfers (local and interstate), promotions or staff taking
extended periods of leave. In remote schools, vacancies typically occurred due to teachers returning to
metropolitan locations (in the NT and interstate). Employers commented that interstate recruits would
typically take positions for one to two years only before returning interstate. The majority of
employers have a graduate recruitment program.
Labour market outlook
Demand for early childhood (pre-primary school) teachers is expected to grow in line with population
growth. Commonwealth and NT government initiatives aimed at increasing teacher numbers in the NT
will create additional demand for the occupation. However, it is expected there will be a sufficient supply
of early childhood (pre-primary school) school teachers to fill vacancies over the coming year.

Labour Economics Office Northern Territory                                                June 2009
Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
Early Childhood (Pre-Primary)                                                                   ACT
ANZSCO Code: 2411-11                                                                         June 2009
Labour market rating                   Shortage
Occupational demand
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) census data show there has been a six per cent increase
in the numbers of early childhood teachers in the ACT between 2001 and 2006 to about 300. The
ACT schools census of February 2009 notes that the number of students in primary schools (which
includes preschool and kindergarten) has risen by just over three per cent over the five years to
2009. The ACT schools 2009 census shows that total school enrolments have been essentially
stable, having grown by about one per cent over the five years from 2005 to 2009. ABS population
projections (3222.0 B8) suggest there will be continuing growth in the overall ACT population,
with the 0-14 age group expected to grow by almost 1 per cent per year. Additionally, the ACT
government has committed to reducing the average class size in ACT public schools creating a
potential for increased demand of early childhood teachers.
Occupational supply
ABS Census data from 2006 indicate over 90 per cent of early childhood teachers have at least one
bachelor or postgraduate degree or an advanced diploma or diploma. The University of Canberra
usually produces between 30 and 40 Early Education graduates each year. The Australian Catholic
University ACT campus does not train this type of teacher. Data provided by the Department of
Immigration and Citizenship indicates that international migration has had almost no impact on the
numbers of early childhood teachers in the ACT over the five years to June 2008.
Employer and industry comments/current labour market.
A survey of employers who recently advertised for early childhood teachers was undertaken for this
report. Only a small number of vacancies were identified so a number of employers were also cold-
canvassed for their experiences. This included contact with representatives of the ACT public schools
sector and of the Catholic Education Office.
Less than 30 per cent of the advertised vacancies were filled within six weeks of advertising.
Advertisements attracted an average of 1.7 applicants per vacancy, of which less than half an applicant
per vacancy was considered by employers to be suitable. Employers indicated many of the applicants
were not degree qualified and a small number of vacancies attracted no applicants at all. Employers in
the child-care sector identified that it was particularly difficult to attract degree qualified early
childhood teachers to work in that area, indicating they would typically look for employment in the
public or private school sector. Employers in the private school sector added that it was important to
find teachers who were a good fit with the educational philosophy of the school.
Contacts within the ACT government sector indicated early childhood teachers were a recruitment
focus for their 2010 recruitment round, suggesting they would otherwise have difficulty recruiting this
type of teacher. Some childcare centres advised they continually advertise for staff in the hope they
will secure the contact details of potential recruits, adding they sometimes have to accept staff with
less than ideal qualifications to ensure they can provide adequate supervision for the children.
Labour market outlook
A focus by the ACT government on reducing class sizes in public schools should continue to
support demand for early childhood teachers. This will maintain pressure on the child-care sector
which has difficulties attracting fully qualified early childhood teachers and it is expected shortages
will persist in the medium term.

Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR)
National Office                                                                              June 2009

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