Urgent request to Minister to extend expiry of Reg242 for another 2 more years due to labour shortages
The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW is very concerned that Regulation 242 of the Education and Care Services National Regulations (NSW) 2012 will expire on 1 January 2020.
It is unfortunate that service providers are generally still experiencing significant labour shortages especially with respect to appropriate degree-qualified early childhood teachers that will help services achieve quality. Hence the reason why the extension of the expiry to 2020 was previously installed.
Although there may be some increases in degree qualified early childhood teacher graduates, services can often be found not to hire such degree-qualified teachers because of their lack of experiences. This further puts such NSW-based services’ ratings at risk of technically no longer “meeting” the National Quality Framework should they receive a waiver under Regulation 242.
To illustrate the labour shortages, according to documents released under NSW’s Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009, it is worth noting that:
- in 2017, there were 285 waivers to Regulation 272 issued; and
- in 2018, there were 437 such waivers.
The current labour shortages are also in alignment with both the Federal Department of Employment’s report (ANZSCO 2411-11 NSW Early Childhood (Pre-Primary) Teacher (April 2018)) as well as the NSW Department of Education’s Literature Review (Early Childhood Education Workforce issues in Australian and international contexts (October 2017)).
Should Regulation 242 expire on 1 January 2020, this can have a very negative effect on:
- over 1,200 services with up to 29 places; and
- over 3,500 services who will be obliged to seek more waivers.
Given that the current Review of the National Quality Framework will not be implemented by the Education Council until sometime during 2021 and 2022, ACA NSW has urgently requested Minister Mitchell to:
- either petition the Education Council to extend again the expiry date of Regulation 242 from 1 January 2020 to 1 January 2022; or
- have the NSW Minister amend its Education and Care Services National Regulations (NSW) 2012 such that this expiry of Regulation 242 for NSW services is extended to 1 January 2022.
ACA NSW has also urged Minister Mitchell to consider what other state governments are doing to address their respective labour shortages, as well as being open to discussing other parallel alternatives in order to help the sector achieve the objectives of educators’ qualifications in the short and longer terms.