New early childhood teachers graduate from The Front Project’s Upskill program
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > New early childhood teachers graduate from The Front Project’s Upskill program

New early childhood teachers graduate from The Front Project’s Upskill program

by Freya Lucas

November 29, 2022

Students from The Front Project’s Upskill Program are five times more likely to complete their studies and become early childhood teachers (ECTs) than students in other undergraduate programs, new analysis has shown. 


The program, which recently saw another 10 ECTs graduate, has recorded a 72 per cent student retention rate in the past two years. By comparison, the national course completion rate for childhood teaching degrees is just 13.5 per cent according to data from ACARA.


As the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector faces a 22 per cent increase in demand for workers by 2023, the pressure is on to fill 9,000 vacancies by next year, something which The Front Project CEO Jane Hunt said requires innovative solutions to address. 


“Responding to the ECEC workforce shortage is crucial to building a quality and sustainable system, which in turn supports children, families and the broader economy,” Ms Hunt said. 


“We urgently need to address these workforce shortages and create a pipeline for future teachers, otherwise childhood outcomes will be significantly affected.”


The Upskill program helps university students move through their degree with confidence and support, something which Ms Hunt said “builds a more sustainable system.”


“We know that there is a direct correlation between the quality of the early learning experience for children and teaching qualifications,” she continued, noting that the program builds on earlier Front Project research which identified the barriers and enablers for diploma trained educators in upskilling their qualifications, which was then used as a sound evidence base for the workforce initiatives.


In the last two years, the program has supported 247 educators, with a further 170 in the pipeline for next year’s intake.


The Upskill Program and Online Community provide opportunities to support the early childhood education professionals to achieve three main goals:


  • Increase their ability for impact in practice
  • Increased earning and career capacity
  • Increased support through professional networks.


“I congratulate the latest graduates and look forward to watching their careers in the sector flourish,” Ms Hunt said.


More information about the Upskill Program can be found here.

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