National Workforce Strategy

Workforce strategy - Shaping Our Future


Workforce snapshot

High quality children’s education and care sets the foundations for lifelong learning and development. Education Ministers recognise the critical importance of the children’s education and care sector, as well as the dedication and resilience of its workforce throughout the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

The National Children’s Education and Care Workforce Strategy (2022-2031) has been developed to support the recruitment, retention, sustainability and quality of the sector workforce. Facilitated by ACECQA, national sector stakeholders and all Australian governments have closely collaborated to co-design ‘Shaping Our Future’, a ten-year workforce strategy to help ensure a sustainable, high-quality children’s education and care workforce.

‘Shaping Our Future’ acknowledges and builds on the significant investment by all governments to date in workforce related initiatives, as well as a range of recent and ongoing initiatives launched by the sector. It provides a roadmap for ongoing collaboration and partnership between all parties, including governments, service providers, education and training providers, peak associations, regulatory bodies, and educators and teachers, and their representative bodies.

The ten-year timeframe for the strategy recognises the complexity of the workforce challenges faced by the sector and provides a call to action for all stakeholders to work towards ambitious goals.

Implementing the strategy is a collective responsibility between all stakeholders. In October 2021, Education Ministers approved the publication of the strategy and requested work commence as soon as possible on an implementation and evaluation plan to guide collaborative efforts to achieve the strategy’s objectives.

Coordinated by ACECQA, national sector stakeholders and all Australian governments are collaborating to develop an implementation and evaluation plan that details the steps that will be taken to progress actions related to the six focus areas identified in Shaping Our Future, along with how progress will be monitored and evaluated. The Shaping Our Future Implementation and Evaluation Plan is scheduled to be considered by Education Ministers in mid-2022.


In December 2019, Education Ministers endorsed the development of a new national workforce strategy as a joint partnership between all governments, the children‘s education and care sector, and other key stakeholders. ACECQA, on behalf of all governments, project led the development of the new strategy, including stakeholder and public consultation. From mid-2020, we undertook extensive consultations with national sector stakeholders and government representatives. These two groups, in addition to our workforce report findings in 2019, shaped the 21 actions in the national workforce strategy. We would like to thank members of the national stakeholder reference group for their continued involvement in the strategy:

  • Australasian Teacher Regulatory Authorities
  • Australian Childcare Alliance
  • Australian Community Children’s Services
  • Australian Council of Deans of Education
  • Australian Early Childhood Teacher Education Network
  • Australian Education Union
  • Children's Education and Care Industry Reference Committee
  • Community Connections Solutions Australia
  • Early Childhood Australia
  • Early Learning and Care Council of Australia
  • Early Learning Association Australia
  • Family Day Care Australia
  • National Outside School Hours Services Alliance
  • Outside School Hours Care Council of Australia
  • Queensland Early Childhood Teacher Education Network
  • Regional Early Education and Development Inc
  • TAFE Directors Australia
  • The Secretariat of National Aboriginal and Islander Child Care
  • United Workers Union

Read the 2019 workforce report
Read the May 2021 public consultation document
Download the summary information flyer
Download information session slides (sessions held between 10-14 May 2021)
Read the May 2021 consultation findings (survey open during May 2021)
Access the Online Workforce Snapshot 


To complement the strategy, ACECQA has published an online workforce snapshot that brings together a range of different data sets to provide a sector workforce profile. Access the Workforce Snapshot.

Workforce snapshot