FDCA releases new insights about educator attraction in “ECEC sector first”

by Freya Lucas

July 31

Family Day Care Australia (FDCA) has today released an early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector first study into the family day care (FDC) workforce, titled Attracting the next generation of family day care educators.

 

Using feedback and insights from 1,288 current FDC educators across Australia, the survey explored the current socio-demographic profile of family day care educators, finding a “growing professionalism” of the FDC workforce over the past decade. 

 

This professionalism, FDCA said, was reflected in educator qualifications, with the organisation pointing to data which shows a majority (55 per cent) of educators working in FDC now hold Diploma level qualifications or higher, and 39 per cent have a Certificate III qualification. A small proportion (4 per cent) are classified as “working towards Certificate III”.

 

Transferable skills were highlighted in the study, which found that a growing proportion of FDC educators have experience in other ECEC settings. Almost 50 per cent of those responding to the survey who became educators within the last three years have previously worked in a long day care centre. 47 per cent of educators indicated that the ability to work from home while caring for their own children was a key motivation for starting a career in FDC.

 

When it comes to challenges, 20 per cent of those responding to the survey cited increasing administrative and compliance requirements as the biggest challenge they faced, with this figure rising to 35 per cent for educators who had been working for ten or more years in the field. Newer educators felt less burdened by administration and compliance than long term educators, with only 11 per cent citing this as a challenge.

 

Using the survey results, FDCA noted that FDC educators of the future are more likely to: 

 

  • be qualified, experienced early childhood education and care professionals;

 

  • be increasingly a renter rather than a home owner;

 

  • have previously worked in a long day care setting, kindergarten or preschool;

 

  • be attracted to a career in FDC by the ability to use their own skills, knowledge and experience to develop individual care programs; and 

 

  • not necessarily have their own young children at home when they first set up as a family day care educator.

 

FDCA Chief Executive Officer Andrew Paterson described the findings as multifaceted, anticipating that they will assist FDCA to inform strategies and advocacy to remove and/or minimise barriers to entry and facilitate growth. 

 

The research, Mr Patterson said, will also be used to  inform current and future recruitment strategies; leveraging insights into the demographic profile and key benefits to target and attract the next generation of educators. 

 

FDCA hopes that the research provides a sector first foundation for future research and an evidence base to inform broader early childhood education and care workforce strategies.

 

The key findings and full report can be viewed here.  

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