QLD experts wanted to train ECEC staff in China
A Chinese company with early childhood education and care (ECEC) centres in Queensland is hoping to use Queensland ECEC experts to train early childhood staff in China, the Queensland Premier’s Department has said.
The name of the Chinese company was not released, however The Sector speculates that it could be Fullshare Holdings – owned by Chinese billionaire Ji Changqun – which acquired Sparrow Early Learning in December 2016. Sparrow Early Learning has ECEC centres across Queensland and Victoria.
The news follows Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s attendance at the China International Import Export Expo in Shanghai where she spoke with Chinese business leaders about expanding trade in several sectors with China. The Premier is among 18 Presidents and Prime Ministers attending the event, and is leading a delegation of 14 Queensland companies producing a range of products from health care to education.
The Premier’s department said that since the relaxation of the ‘one child’ policy, demand for quality childcare is booming and companies are hoping to use Queensland’s childcare sector to train workers for centres across China.
“Chinese companies are particularly interested in Queensland childcare centre operators to train Chinese workers. Easing the one child policy is creating a huge demand for childcare in China in addition to aged care and health care – areas in which Queensland excels,” said Ms Palaszczuk.
Travel incentives for staff retention
The opportunity to travel to China from Australia to train Chinese staff may be attractive to ECEC professionals, and is an interesting incentive to offer staff given the current challenges Australian ECEC services are experiencing in attracting and retaining early learning professionals – in particular qualified early childhood teachers (ECTs).
Pay disparity between ECT and primary school teachers, and impending changes to legislation, which will see ECT requirements double for some services, heighten the issue and are leading the sector to look for solutions.
Some education services offer students studying ECEC the opportunity to travel to further their studies and expertise; ECEC employers may consider offering similar incentives to staff as a means of enhancing their employment offer.