As you are aware, a prominent issue facing the industry is a critical shortage of Diploma educators and Early Childhood teachers. The introduction of the new Early Childhood Education and Care Training package means that only Certificate 3 educators wishing to immediately upgrade to a CHC50121 Diploma must have completed the CHC30113.
Educators who hold a Certificate 3 qualification gained prior to 2015 (i.e. not a CHC30113) are required to undertake a six-month ‘bridging’ program to obtain the CHC30121 Certificate III in Children’s Education and Care, after which they would be eligible to enrol in the CHC50121 Diploma of Children’s Education and Care. Alternatively these educators can submit a request for Recognition of Prior Learning.
Employers have expressed to ICCC that this prerequisite is presenting a significant barrier for existing educators wishing to upgrade to a Diploma and does not take into consideration the experience of current Certificate III employees.
In essence, if Certificate III educators where to undertake a bridging course the service would not be deemed to meet the regulatory requirements of ‘working towards’ a Diploma as in essence the educator is completing a second partial Certificate 3 qualification.
In the current climate, one would hope that a more considered approach could be taken. For example, allow Certificate 3 educators with 2-3 years’ experience and a recommendation from their employer to enrol in the new Diploma. While it’s essential to maintain the integrity of the qualification it’s also essential to exclude barriers to training in times of a national shortage.
I urge all concerned stakeholders to raise this issue with their local federal member.
Karen Kearns (M.Ed (EC) B.Ed.(EC) Grad. Dip. Ed. (Spec. Ed.)
CEO, International Child Care College