ACECQA reminder that language is power, in line with Shaping our Future strategy

ACECQA reminder that language is power, in line with Shaping our Future strategy

by Freya Lucas

December 16, 2021

ACECQA is actively working on many of the 21 actions outlined in the Shaping our Future: A ten-year strategy to ensure a sustainable, high-quality children’s education and care workforce 2022–2031 report, including recognising the importance of the words used to describe the complexity of work undertaken in early childhood education and care (ECEC.) 


Agreeing on, and consistently using, contemporary terminology to describe the children’s education and care sector, and its workforce was rated as the third most important action to be taken, and recognises that: 


  • Broader community understanding and value of children’s education and care impacts the professional identity of the workforce 
  • Terms such as ‘childcare’ and ‘childminding’ reinforce outdated views about the role of early learning and diminish the professional worth of educators and teachers.


It also identifies what needs to be done:


  • Language to be considered includes ‘teachers and educators’, as well as deciding upon ‘children’s education and care’, ‘early learning and care’ or ‘early childhood education and care’. 
  • The agreed language will be used in all future national communications campaigns, government programs and projects.


“We’re already taking steps to act on this, on our family focused,” ACECQA’s latest newsletter noted. 


“Families often use ‘childcare’ to search the internet for services. This search takes them to our Find Child Care tool but once they arrive, we welcome them to ‘Your first step into early childhood education and care’.”


“It may take a while before we see the language of ‘childcare’ change in Australia but it is important that we work together to educate, and communicate with, our communities and the public about what approved services actually provide,” ACECQA noted.  


For more information about language and professional identity please see here