Pintya Kuu helps Flinders ECTs grow and learn
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > Pintya Kuu gives Flinders ECT students a place to grow while refining professional skills

Pintya Kuu gives Flinders ECT students a place to grow while refining professional skills

by Freya Lucas

April 24, 2023
Pre service teacher Nick Golfis interacts with six year old Rory.

Pre-service early childhood teachers studying at South Australia’s Flinders University have more space to grow and develop their ideas thanks to the opening of the Pintya Kuu (Creative Room) Early Childhood Space.


Pintya Kuu has been designed by the University to help meet the rapidly rising demand for qualified teachers and carers in South Australia, and builds on the teacher training experience at the College of Education, Psychology and Social Work, aiming to give early childhood pre-service teachers a place to plan, design and implement engaging play and learning experiences for children from birth to eight years of age.


The facility weaves Indigenous perspectives into the creative and supportive space. 


Senior Lecturer in Early Childhood and Care Rachael Hedger described it as “a space where theory and practice combine in order to create rich learning opportunities for children and educators alike.” 


The new training area has been opened following the State Government’s interim report from the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care, which highlights the need for more educators in the space.


The report identifies possible models and estimated costs for delivering preschool to three-year-old children, suggesting a mixed funding model (government and non-government), along with investment in new facilities and commissioned places for disadvantaged South Australian preschool children.


  • The proposed approach will cost $162.7 million per annum, and between an estimated $101.2 to $111.2 million for capital investment to build the equivalent of 32 new early childhood education and care services to deliver universal accessibility. It will also make use of around 4,700 empty places in government preschools.
  • Approximately 1,000 children in areas of high need would be able to access 30 hours a week of high-quality preschool in newly commissioned services, integrating a broad range of family and child supports.
  • All three year olds in South Australia would be entitled to 15 hours per week of pre-school under the proposed model.
  • The final report is set to be released in August 2023.


“It is good to see that the interim report acknowledges the impact that three-year-old preschool will have on the workforce, especially as we are already experiencing a severe workforce shortage,” Ms Hedger said.


“Recognising the importance of early intervention and setting children on a path to success that leads to improved outcomes for their future, and the resulting workforce and economy, means that we start to place our attention on the child and what’s best for them at this moment,” she added.


“The additional pre-school hours will be a relief to many families struggling to balance work and care arrangements. In addition, our most vulnerable children can access care and learning to support their development in safe and supportive environments.”


The lead image for this story shows final year student Nick Golfis who is studying a Bachelor of Early Childhood Education/Bachelor Special Education at Flinders University, and is also supporting a teacher shortage in Ceduna with a Special Authority to Teach while finishing his studies.


Read the Royal Commission’s interim report here. To learn more about studying at Flinders, please see here

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