First Class

Union to ensure early childhood teachers armed and ready for accreditation

Many private providers employ only one teacher.Who will be theteacher’s supervisor?Who will be their mentor?

With accreditation of early childhood teachers commencing in 2016, the Union is preparing to help members. Our intention is to arm Union members with enough information to complete BOSTES accreditation requirements well, but without unnecessary additional work.

At this point in time, much of BOSTES policies, procedures and evidence guides are still to be written. However the experience of primary and secondary teachers who started after 1 October 2004, as well as their supervisors and mentors, can be used as an indication of what the early childhood profession faces in 2016. The Union is well prepared to assist early childhood teacher members with their accreditation.

The question of who will be the Teacher Accreditation Authority (TAA) for early childhood teachers remains unresolved. In primary and secondary sectors, it is the employer or employer’s delegate. It’s understood that the person writing the accreditation at Proficient report is a qualified teacher themselves. In the early childhood sector this is not always the case, with many private providers being run by non-teachers and employing only one teacher. In situations like these, who will be the TAA? Who will be the teacher’s supervisor? Who will be their mentor?

While questions like these remain unresolved, it is likely that in the next few months we will see a rapid evolution of how accreditation will work in the early childhood sector as well as the supporting paperwork.

Here’s what you can do:

Remain (or become) a Union member. Without Union membership, you will not receive regular updates as major changes are made to your profession and responsibilities. Union members have a strong voice in determining what changes are made to NSW education and registration. In addition, as a Union member you are able to access our two accreditation officers (Elizabeth Finlay and Amy Cotton) as well as attend free workshops on accreditation.

Attend Securing Our Future: Best Practice Induction and Mentoring Conference on 21 and 22 May in Ultimo. The two-day conference focuses on the twin issues of induction and mentoring, but there will be a special forum for early childhood teachers to get together and discuss the changes that accreditation will bring. It is at this forum that the Union will best be able to hear the unique issues that early childhood teachers face and from here we will formulate plans to support and advocate for teachers.

Attend seminars and workshops specifically for early childhood teachers run by both the IEU and BOSTES. These will commence once it is certain what the accreditation requirements will be. The Union is committed to assisting early childhood teachers through the beginning of the accreditation scheme.

Read all Union and BOSTES communications, including emails, the Teachers r Teachers enews, Newsmonth and Bedrock. Participate in the surveys that IEU will send – these surveys are important as they tell us what you think and want for your profession, and how best we can help you.

Amy Cotton
Professional Officer