NSW needs to refresh its ECE Workforce Strategy 2018-2022

The Australian Childcare Alliance (ACA) NSW members would be aware that the effective expiry of Regulation 242 and the use of "Actively Working Towards" were extended to 1 January 2022 (for the third time). Such provisions were supposed to expire on 1 January 2020, which would have caused significant labour issues for early childhood education and care services across New South Wales more so than all other Australian states.

Services unable to comply with Reg272 2013 2018

Based on the internal records of the NSW Department of Education, the number of waivers to comply with Regulation 272 has more than doubled from 2013 to 2018. This confirms ACA NSW's view for a long time that NSW is experiencing significant labour shortages especially for degree qualified early childhood teachers.

ACA NSW has made it very clear to the NSW Department of Education that it continues to have concerns about its Early Childhood Education Workforce Strategy 2018-2022 which does not adequately address how the NSW Regulatory Authority can adequately assist early childhood education services to comply with Regulation 272 given the prevailing labour shortages, especially when NSW competes for talent with other Australian jurisdictions.

ACA NSW has again written to the NSW Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, the Hon Sarah Mitchell MLC, seeking solutions from the NSW Government for the immediate as well as the long term. Extending Regulation 242 for another 2 years is simply not enough and ACA NSW would suggest a more systemic review and additional government interventions are warranted.