National Workforce Strategy
High quality children’s education and care sets the foundations for lifelong learning, wellbeing 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 and beyond.
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.
‘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.
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. In October 2021, Education Ministers approved the publication of the strategy and requested work commence on an implementation and evaluation plan to guide collaborative efforts to achieve the strategy’s objectives.
The Shaping Our Future: Implementation and Evaluation Plan was published in September 2022, along with a summary of workforce related initiatives.
National Workforce Forum
In November 2023, on behalf of all governments and sector stakeholders, ACECQA hosted the first biennial National Workforce Forum, a key component of the strategy.
Guests over the two days included representatives from all nine governments, peak bodies, unions, Australia’s largest children’s education and care providers, service leaders and educators, research organisations and teaching institutions.
A summary of the forum, including some of the presentations, is available here.
In July 2023, ACECQA published an online dashboard that tracks progress against the 21 nationally agreed actions and includes complementary initiatives that support the six focus areas of the national workforce strategy. Access the Online Dashboard.
The dashboard is scheduled to be updated in April 2024.
To complement the strategy, ACECQA has also published an online workforce snapshot that brings together a range of different data sets to provide a sector workforce profile. Access the Workforce Snapshot.
Background and resources
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