Traineeships hold the key to solving SA childcare workforce challenge

The following content is lifted from an ACA SA Media Release - Tuesday 26 October 2021:

Traineeships hold the key to solving SA childcare workforce challenge. South Australia’s peak body for early learning (childcare) services believes offering traineeships is the key to both attracting, and retaining, educators in the face of a national workforce shortage.

The Australian Childcare Alliance SA (ACA SA) today praised the South Australian Government for bolstering its investment in trainee and wage subsidy programs which, in turn, has led early learning services across the state to employ record numbers of trainees (Certificate III and Diploma in early childhood).

The Deputy President of ACA SA, Ms Sarah Causer, said SA was not alone in trying to grapple with a critical shortage of early childhood educators.

“This is an issue that we have been trying to resolve for more than a decade, but it has been worsened by the impact of the pandemic on immigration and triggering some of our older educators to retire earlier.”

Australia is facing a critical shortage of 39,000 educators by 2023. That is across every state and territory.

“In South Australia, the Government’s strong and cautious leadership has protected us from the worst of the pandemic’s economic and health impact,” Ms Causer said. “However, like many sectors, attracting and retaining quality employees remains an ongoing challenge.

“We have been working hand-in-glove with our state and federal governments to ensure our children continue to receive the best education and care. But without educators, we may be forced to reduce the places offered to our families”

Through wage subsidies and project support initiatives – offered by the Department of Innovation and Skills and Skills SA - South Australian early learning (childcare) services have been able to employ more trainees than ever before, even in the face of the workforce shortage.

Ms Causer said ACA SA will continue to collaborate effectively with the State Government to design and implement the innovative programs that focus on the needs of SA children, and the educators who care for them.

These programs range from short introductory courses, skill sets to update workforce knowledge and understanding, upskilling of existing staff to a higher qualification and a robust traineeship program for new entry educators into the sector. 

“The pandemic has pulled the curtain back on just how vital a strong and sustainable early learning (childcare) sector is to the economy,” Ms Causer said.

“Our educators, and the families who rely on them, are the important beneficiaries of the State Government’s highly valued skills and traineeship programs and we look forward to developing even more smart policies that does indeed ensure that every South Australian child has the best start in life.”



Media enquiries

ACA SA Vice President Sarah Causer - 0432 434 612 or 0410 916 175