The behaviour of the Early Childhood Education and Care workforce matters and is linked to their education and training. The importance of early childhood teachers lies in their impact on the process and content quality of early childhood education.
The education and training of ECEC practitioners influence the quality of services and outcomes through skills, knowledge and expertise they transmit and encourage. Nevertheless, Elliot (2006) thinks that it is not teacher qualification as such that affect children outcomes, but the capability of qualified teachers to develop a high-quality teaching environment that makes the difference, with that in mind ACTAC’s Diploma in Early Childhood Education and Care is the qualification needed to be an Early Childhood room leader.
For the children to get the best possible start, the government introduced the Nat ional Quality Framework (NQF) that put in place a national quality standard that guarantees consistent and high-quality early childhood education and care throughout the country. The National Quality Framework is implemented in family day care, long day care, preschool, and outside school hours care settings (Rowley et al., 2011).
It requires early childhood providers to enhance services in areas that touch on child health, development, and safety and to give families the necessary information that enables them to make an informed choice of services for their kids. ACTAC provides qualifications in one of the areas that the National Quality Standard enhances quality is through the introduction of new staff qualification requirements that ensure that they have the skills that assist children to gain knowledge and grow.
According to Council of Australian Governments (COAG) (2009), from 1st January 2014, an early childhood educator has to be present in the entire period of preschool and long daycare when providing services to 25 children and above, but be in attendance some of the time when the children are less than 25.
In every preschool or long day care centre, 50 percent of the workforce must hold a diploma level early childhood qualification or higher, or at least working actively towards acquiring it (COAG, 2009). The remaining workforce is required to have a certificate III level ECEC qualification, or at least provide proof that they are working actively towards having it.
All family day care facilitators are required to hold diploma-level ECEC qualification or above, while all family day carers must hold a Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care ECEC qualification or its equivalent. These childcare courses are enhancing teacher qualifications is essential as studies have shown that a workforce with higher qualifications is more often than not better able to get better outcomes for children.
Highly qualified teachers mean a better understanding of children’s health and safety concerns and in addition, they are capable of initiating activities that motivate kids and assist them to learn and develop (COAG, 2009).