The Victoria Government’s initiative to introduce subsidised kindergarten for three year old’s this year means the early childhood education sector is poised for a reboot. Maryann James, Head of Department, Community Care, with the Melbourne City Institute of Education (MCIE), takes a look at how it will have a positive impact on the sector and increase demand for kinder qualified educators. Maryann also talks about how the MCIE Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care can lead to a lifelong career to support the future of early childhood, and how this national qualification can lead to higher learning with Victoria University.
Victoria is the first State in Australia to introduce subsidised kindergarten programs for three year old children creating potentially thousands of additional new early childhood education and care teaching jobs. The program will be rolled out in phases and include building about 1000 new kindergartens and expanding existing centres. Once completed, the plan would provide much needed impetus to the early childhood education sector in Victoria.
Let’s look at some of the ways in which the initiative will positively impact the sector:
Kinder will be accessible to more children
As per Government estimates, with an extra year of play-based learning added to the education system, about 50,000 additional children would be going to kinder each year once the program is completely implemented. This would mean that our children will have an extra year of play-based learning to develop critical skills in their formative years.
Create openings for more qualified teachers
And with the kindergarten program to be led by qualified teachers, the Government has also earmarked funds to invest heavily in growth and development of the early childhood education and care workforce. The Government plans to expand funded training opportunities to include Diploma of Early Childhood Education and Care and Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care to meet the anticipated demand for more early childhood educators.
Enhance best practices and benchmarks in training and development
The Government’s commitment reflects the compassion and support that every Victorian child deserves to get them ready for school and to give them what they need to succeed in life. It’s now imperative that every member of the industry provides the needed support for the training and development of more qualified and skilled early childhood educators in the system.
As a leading and acclaimed training provider in Victoria, MCIE will continue to play an integral role in preparing qualified educators to meet the expected demand. Our nationally accredited Diploma and Certificate III courses in early childhood education and care have already helped more than a thousand aspiring educators find their passion for teaching. And we plan on helping a thousand more.
Competency and quality are at the centre of the initiative. This means that the sector will witness an enhanced effort from both the Government and training providers to go an extra mile in developing the necessary skills and competency amongst early childhood educators. MCIE early childhood courses reflect industry needs and are specifically designed to equip new educators with required skill sets to care for children and to help facilitate learning and development in their most influential years. The renewed focus is on best practices and benchmarking, to make our early childhood educators comparable to the best in the world.
And with life-long learning and careers a focus of MCIE’s training model, the outstanding quality of MCIE early childhood education and care courses have facilitated a pathway program with Victoria University (VU). The pathway enables eligible MCIE Diploma of ECEC (CHC50113) students to complete the VU Early Childhood Education bachelor’s degree (EBEC) in just two years, instead of the usual three years.
Our little ones hold the future and we must make every effort to provide them with a caring, nurturing, and a learning environment to help them grow with the right values and skills. The Government has its heart in the right place and with the right skills, attitude, training, and qualifications, the sector looks poised to open new opportunities for an aspiring teacher who is also looking for a satisfying career with a little more heart in it.