As ECEC battles ongoing workforce crisis, managers need to focus on culture
The Sector > Workforce > As ECEC battles ongoing workforce crisis, managers need to focus on culture

As ECEC battles ongoing workforce crisis, managers need to focus on culture

by Freya Lucas

January 18, 2023

The challenges being faced by the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector, in terms of attracting, retaining and developing its employees are widely known. Multiple examples of services being slimmed down, placed on hold, or closed altogether are an unfortunate part of the daily conversation in the sector. 


As the sector confronts these challenges head on, specialists from external sectors are offering insights and perspectives as to how the tide may be turned. One such specialist is EC Workplace founder Nick Church who says there is an increasing pressure on managers to ensure their workplace fosters a collaborative, safe and healthy working environment.


Mr Church believes the current workforce crisis is coming as a result of a greater awareness of employee rights, along with staff shortages, and is contributing to a high turnover in some organisations and services. 


Competing with this reality is a growing societal awareness of the importance of early childhood education, and increased attention and funding for the sector at state and federal level, which also highlights the need for a positive workplace, he continued.


“A lot of people are becoming more aware of children’s need for high-quality early education, which for a long time has been viewed merely as childcare,” Mr Church said. “Ensuring this education and care is delivered to children means fostering a consistent and confident workplace that supports staff and boosts morale.”


Most complaints in the early childhood sector involve interpersonal conflict, he continued, often exacerbated by increased workload and pressure due to the workforce shortages. 


“It’s incumbent on management to be aware of how to handle complaints at the outset.They need to have a sound knowledge of their obligations and reach out to the appropriate peak body or service for professional advice and support, when needed. If issues that arise are acted on early, they’re less likely to develop into critical situations.”


In addition, management teams need to have good communication and be available to their staff. They need to be transparent about their direction and place a strong emphasis on the values of the service, he added.


Learn more about EC Workplace here

Download The Sector's new App!

ECEC news, jobs, events and more anytime, anywhere.

Download App on Apple App Store Button Download App on Google Play Store Button