ACECQA extends ECT transitional measure as workforce challenges persist
The Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) has extended an existing transitional measure that recognises those holding registered/accredited primary school teaching qualifications as early childhood teachers (ECTs) in the instance where those primary teachers have completed an approved Diploma (or higher) in Children’s Services.
The Board’s decision has been made, ACECQA said, in response to “ongoing workforce pressures and challenges”, particularly for those services operating in rural and remote locations in a number of states and territories across the country.
In order for a person to be recognised as a ‘equivalent early childhood teacher’, they must meet all of the following criteria:
- a primary teaching qualification that includes at least a focus on children aged five to eight years old (e.g. a qualification with a focus on children aged three to eight or five to twelve years of age);
- teacher registration in Australia (called ‘accreditation’ in New South Wales);
- an ACECQA approved Diploma level (or higher) education and care qualification.
This transitional measure, ACECQA noted, is scheduled to cease at the end of 2021, however educators who obtain this combination of qualifications – that is, who complete either a primary teaching qualification or a Diploma qualification, meaning they hold both qualifications in combination – before the end of 2021 will continue to be recognised under this provision.
Information about the dual qualification arrangement is published on the ACECQA approved qualifications list.
Those wishing to be recognised as an ECT using the dual qualification equivalent measure should retain evidence of their primary teaching qualification, teacher registration/accreditation and ACECQA approved Diploma level (or higher) qualification as evidence that they meet the requirements.
It is important to note that the ACECQA requirement under this measure means that BOTH qualifications must be held. The requirement for an ACECQA approved Diploma level (or higher) qualification is separate to the requirement for a primary teaching qualification (i.e. two separate qualifications are required).
ACECQA also noted that individual employers may specify higher qualification requirements (for example, a four year ECT degree) as part of their employment policy. Responsibility for compliance with individual employer policy sits with each educator.
Educators wishing to be recognised under the equivalent measure will not need to formally apply to ACECQA for recognition. Once they achieve a qualification on the list of approved qualifications, in combination with their primary teaching qualification and Australian teacher registration, they will automatically be considered to meet the qualification requirements for an equivalent early childhood teacher.
If an educator is a registered/accredited primary school teacher ONLY, they may be able to be “taken to be an early childhood teacher” upon starting an approved Diploma level (or higher) education and care qualification. For more information about the “actively working towards” provision, see regulation 242.
For those educators who do not have teacher registration/accreditation, they will need to obtain provisional or full teacher registration/accreditation to meet the requirements of an equivalent early childhood teacher under regulation 137(3).
A list of teacher registration/accreditation bodies in each state or territory can be found on the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership website.
The recent Board decision recognises and seeks to balance the tension between the ongoing goal of building a highly skilled workforce while recognising existing and persistent workforce pressures and challenges (particularly in rural and remote areas).
More information is available via the ACECQA website, here.