Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Early childhood investment wasted without quality educators

A new paper by Mitchell Institute at Victoria University finds that quality is lagging in key early childhood education and care (ECEC) areas and improving teaching should be a top priority. Highly skilled educators are the most important ingredient but many early childhood educators don’t receive sufficient training or support.

Mitchell Institute Policy Program Director, Dr Charlene Smith said early childhood educators need better training and professional learning to support the important work they do.

“We know that early education changes lives and is particularly transformative for disadvantaged children but it is only effective if it is of sufficient quality to impact their development,” Dr Smith explained. 

“Governments have invested significantly to help more children access early learning and improve affordability, but there will be no return on that investment unless children attend high quality services.”

The paper finds that many ECEC services are struggling to meet the quality area that is most strongly aligned to effective education. This means not enough children are receiving education experiences that will have lasting effects throughout school and into adulthood.

One in five services fail to ensure educators are active and reflective in designing and delivering learning programs for children, and half of services only meet the minimum quality benchmark in this area.

There is also large variation in the level of quality across Australia, with children from lower SES families more likely to attend lower quality programs.

Dr Smith said governments should prioritise building early childhood educator skills and make sure investment reaches the children who need it most – in line with what they are working to achieve in schools. 

“If we had schools with teachers who haven’t finished their qualifications or don’t have the right kind of training to help children learn, there wouldn’t be time for a conversation – there would be immediate action."

The paper recommends governments focus on ensuring that universities, TAFEs and private colleges teach early childhood education students the skills to boost children’s learning; creating opportunities for educators to share knowledge and attend professional training; and collecting data to track children’s development and improve learning experiences.


14 Nov 2018 | National
Nowhere to run for cheaters News Image

While it’s prevalent at universities, cheaters’ days might be numbered as markers have shown themselves to be adept at indentifying which assignments are not the work of the student and the ability improves with training. Read More

14 Nov 2018 | NSW
Surf Lifesavers head Bush News Image

Over 6000 youngsters will get a taste of the beach when the 25th annual Beach to Bush program rolls into towns including Tamworth, Lismore, West Wyalong, Young, Moree, Gunnedah, Narrabri and Canberra. Read More

13 Nov 2018 | National
Catholic School Principals plan for future News Image

As the current crop of Catholic School Principals retires there’s concern that no one is stepping up to the plate, the Catholic Schools’ Middle Leadership Program addresses the development of new leaders. Read More

13 Nov 2018
Students asked which anti-smoking ads work best News Image

Quit Victoria’s annual Critics’ Choice initiative invites students to appraise anti-smoking ads and high school students are being called upon to get involved.
Read More

13 Nov 2018 | National
Program sees autistic toddlers thrive in mainstream kinder News Image

Toddlers with autism can thrive in normal kindergarten environments if provided with the correct scaffolding and La Trobe University’s Group-Early Start Denver Model (G-ESDM) looks to be one intervention that works well. Read More