Same standards for early childhood teachers

BOSTES has announced its intention to accredit all early childhood teachers from 2016 onwards. The working party was attended by Verena Heron Industrial Officer and Amy Cotton Professional Officer.

Early childhood teachers currently working as teachers will be deemed at Proficient, according to BOSTES, from 2016. Teachers beginning after that point would be provisionally/conditionally accredited and need to work towards their accreditation at Proficient.

The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers have been minimally re-drafted to include early childhood sector specific terminology but keeping the same structure that primary and secondary teachers currently use.

The Union sees this as important because it allows for teachers to work and maintain their accreditation under the same essential Standards regardless as to whether they are in an early childhood, primary or secondary setting. Similarly, the Union called for maintenance of accreditation professional development requirements to be the same. Teachers are teachers, after all.

The potential of double regulation in light of the Australian Children’s Education and Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) and BOSTES overlapping in areas of regulatory authority was raised by the working party. BOSTES committed to ensuring as little double up of paperwork as possible should occur.

Which bodies can be Teacher Accreditation Authorities (TAA) for early childhood teachers continues to be a stumbling block. Larger employers may be able to set up systems where there is a central TAA, but smaller, one teacher or even part-time teacher centres with non-teaching employers/community boards face challenges unique to the early childhood sector. Any developments in this area will be closely watched by the Union.

When BOSTES calls for early childhood teachers to join the electoral roll, the Union strongly urges that every member does so. The election of the early childhood teacher representative to BOSTES’s Quality Teaching Council is important, and all early childhood teachers should vote. Look out for information from BOSTES and the Union when this election is occurring.

BOSTES will soon be calling for early childhood teachers to become members of working parties for writing accreditation evidence guides particular to early childhood settings. Keep an eye on their webpage:

The Union’s upcoming Securing Our Future: Best Practice Induction and Mentoring conference on the 21-22 May will host a special panel session for early childhood teachers around the issues of accreditation. It’s important that early childhood teachers attend the conference. The Union will be drawing from members’ concerns raised at the event to determine its actions and the types of support Union members need in the next couple of years. For more information about the conference, contact Kayla Skorupan

Amy Cotton
Professional Officer