TAFE enrolments in SA almost double in past 12 months, with ECEC most popular
The Sector > Quality > Professional development > TAFE enrolments in SA almost double in past 12 months, with ECEC most popular

TAFE enrolments in SA almost double in past 12 months, with ECEC most popular

by Freya Lucas

April 24, 2023

The current South Australian Government’s return of early childhood courses to TAFE has seen an almost doubling of uptake in just 12 months, SA Education Minister Blair Boyd said.


The Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care had previously been removed by the former government from TAFE SA in metropolitan areas. 


A pre-election commitment was made by the now sitting government to reinstate these courses to address workforce shortages in the early childhood education sector – and this was one of the first actions taken a year ago by the State Government. 


Enrolments in Semester One for 2023 for both courses are currently at 456 – almost double the same time last year with 276 enrolments. The increase in students studying early childhood education and care courses at TAFE SA, Mr Boyd said, “shows exactly why we made the right decision to bring these courses back”.


“Workforce will be one of the crucial focuses in ensuring we are providing a quality education for three year olds.


“We recognised that straight away, which is why we took immediate steps to reintroduce the courses to metro and regional campuses.”


His comments follow the release of the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care’s Interim Report released on 17 April 2023, which was initiated by the State Government in October last year and tasked former Prime Minister Julia Gillard with leading the education reform. 


The courses were also added to the Fee-Free TAFE list, ensuring people who might not have had access to education, have the opportunity to do so.


“As somebody who studied at TAFE, I know how important returning these courses are for South Australians to access high quality, public education,” said Member for Waite, Catherine Hutchesson.


“Our early childhood workers are critical to ensuring our children have the best care and I’m so pleased to see that more people are taking it up as a career option.”


Teaching scholarships are also being developed with all three South Australian universities to boost early childhood teacher numbers, and the Government is also investing $15 million in a country strategy to encourage teachers to take up regional and rural positions. 


To learn more about studying early childhood qualifications under the Fee-Free TAFE initiative, please see here

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