Education Ministers decisions on transitional workforce provisions

Ministers want to provide certainty about the transitional workforce provisions in the Education and Care Services National Regulations which are due to expire in some jurisdictions at the end of this year. Ministers recognise that workforce challenges have been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Accordingly, Ministers have agreed to extend and align the transitional provisions until the end of 2023, where jurisdictions have identified this need, as outlined in the table below. In addition, for some provisions the aim is to develop an ongoing evidence-based regulatory approach, prior to their expiry. Ministers will amend the relevant National Regulations before the end of this year to give effect to these decisions.

Ministers acknowledged the immense efforts of the early childhood education and care workforce across Australia in 2020. They commended their resilience and dedication during unprecedented and uncertain times, highlighting their essential role in ensuring children’s ongoing learning and development, workforce participation and in re-building the economy.

Ministers noted the work continues on the development of the Children’s Education and Care National Workforce Strategy. This ten-year strategy is being co-designed with key sector stakeholders to address some of the fundamental and enduring workforce challenges which have required the ongoing use of the transitional provisions. A public consultation process has commenced with a Strategy due to be submitted to Ministers in mid to late 2021 for consideration and endorsement.

If you have any queries about the table below which are specific to a state or territory, please contact the relevant Regulatory Authority.

Regulation Expiry date of 31 December 2021 Expiry date of 31 December 2023

Regulation 239A
Attendance of an Early Childhood Teacher (ECT) at a service in remote or very remote location.

QLD NT, WA, NSW, SA, TAS

Regulation 240
Qualification requirements for educators working in remote and very remote services.

QLD WA, SA, TAS

Regulation 242*
Persons taken to be an ECT.

QLD NT, WA, ACT, NSW, SA, TAS

Regulation 264
General qualifications for educators in centre based services.

  ACT

Regulations 386, 390, 392, 394**
Resignation of an ECT.

QLD ACT, TAS, WA, SA

Regulations 405, 407, 409, 411**
Resignation of a Suitably Qualified Person.

QLD ACT, TAS, WA, SA

Please note:

None of these transitional provisions apply in Victoria.

*Regulation 242 does not apply in NSW for educators working in a centre-based service educating and caring for 30 or more children preschool age or under.

**South Australia will adopt both the substance and timing of the existing jurisdiction-specific regulations which apply regulation 135 as if the reasons for an ECT to be absent included resignation until the end of 2023.