ANZSCO 2411-11New South Wales
Early Childhood (Pre-Primary) TeacherApril 2018
Labour Economics Office New South Wales
Department of Jobs and Small Business
Current labour market rating:No shortage
Previous labour market rating (April 2017):Metropolitan recruitment difficulty
There is no shortage of early childhood (pre-primary) teachers in metropolitan and regional NSW. Employers were generally able to fill vacancies in metropolitan and regional NSW. However, some employers had difficulty in recruiting early childhood (pre-primary) teachers in the long day care sector.
- The Department of Jobs and Small Business surveyed employers who had recently advertised for early childhood (pre-primary) teachers in the following areas: long day care, preschool and infants’ school.
- In general, employers sought the following in applicants:
◦Tertiary qualifications with a degree in early childhood education as a minimum or another approved Australian Children’s Education & Care Quality Authority (ACECQA) qualification.
◦Some employers were prepared to employ applicants who held a diploma level qualification in early childhood education and care.
◦Some employers also required applicants to have completed at least 50 per cent of a relevant degree as per the transition arrangements for centre-based services.
◦Experience in the role in which the vacancy was advertised, for instance room leader.
◦Employers indicated they sought applicants with additional accreditations such as a current NSW Working with Children Check clearance, first aid, asthma and anaphylaxis training.
◦Many employers indicated that they required applicants to have extensive knowledge of various frameworks and regulations including Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF), National Quality Framework (NQF) and National Quality Standards (NQS).
- Across NSW, 82 per cent of vacancies were filledcompared with 65 per cent in April 2017.
- Employers were generally able to fillvacancies in Sydney and regional NSW for early childhood (pre-primary) teachers, but had difficulty in filling vacancies in long day care.
◦Employerscommented that positions in long day care centres are generally more difficult to fill because of the difference in the hours of service, holiday entitlements, and remuneration compared to other centres.
- Some employers compromised on conditions and qualifications, with a small number of vacancies filled by diploma-qualified applicants who met the transition arrangements.
- Some employers commented about the difficulties recruiting in particular locations in Sydney especially the Eastern Suburbs, Northern Beaches and the North Shore due to affordability, demographics, employmentpreferences and transport issues.
- Some employers advised that they had not received any applicants responding to vacancies in some instances, however, they were able to fill vacancies well outside the survey period through alternative means, for instance word of mouth.
Applicants per vacancy
- Across NSW, there was an average of 9.5 applicants per vacancy of whom an average of 2.4 applicants were considered suitable by employers.
- By comparison, in 2017 there was an average of 4.4 applicants per vacancy of whom an average of one applicant was considered suitable by employers.
Metropolitan and regional results
- In metropolitan regions, there was an average of 8.5 applicants per vacancy and 29 per cent were considered suitable by employers.
◦Employers in metropolitan areas were able to fill 73 per cent of vacancies.
- In regional areas, there was an average of 11.2 applicants per vacancy and 21 per cent were considered suitable by employers.
◦Employers in regional areas were able to fill 100 per cent of vacancies.
- On average, metropolitan vacancies attracted 4.2 applicants with qualifications compared to 6.7 applicants with qualifications per vacancy in regional areas.
- The reasons given by employers on why an applicant was considered unsuitable include:
◦A lack of appropriate qualifications.
◦Insufficient work experience, for instance not having a minimum of three years practical experience.
◦A lack of industry specific experience, for instance in the childcare sector.
◦Not possessing the communication skills required by employers, for instance poorly written applications, resumes or cover letters.
Demand and supply trends
- Demand for early childhood teachers has been increasing strongly due to higher underlying demand for early childhood education and care and new regulatory requirements under the National Quality Framework for Early Childhood Education and Care (NQF).These factors have been reflected in increasing government expenditure on early childhood education and care services.
◦The number of children using long day care services in NSW in June 2017 was 231,180, an increase of 18 per cent over the previous five years. The number of 0-4 year olds in NSW is projected to grow by 7 per cent from 2016 to 2021 after rising by 8 per cent from 2011 to 2016.
◦The Australian Government Budget for 2016-17 indicated that the Government will invest more than $40 billion on child care support over the following four years. The Child Care Subsidy will commence in July 2018 and replace the Child Care Benefit and Child Care Rebate with a single, means-tested subsidy and be paid directly to service providers to be passed on to families.
- At the 2016 Census, people aged 45 and over comprised a lower proportion of the occupation than was the case for all professional, technical and trade occupations. The median age group for early childhood teachers was 35-39 years, which compares to 40-44 years for all occupations. This suggests that the incidence of future withdrawals from the labour force, due to retirement, may be relatively low for this occupation.
- Entry to this profession is via a four-year bachelor degree with a major in early childhood education or completion of a postgraduate qualification in early childhood education.
- Early childhood teachers must be accredited with the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) to work in an approved centre-based NSW early childhood education and care service or school.
- Data from the Department of Education and Training indicates that the number of students completing initial teaching qualifications (including early childhood, primary and secondary) in NSW was 4,568 in 2016. This was lower than the average for the previous five years of just over 5,400.
◦Student commencements in 2016 (7,284) were also lower than the average for the previous five years (8,770).
- The number of primary applicant 457 temporary skilled migration visas granted for early childhood teachers in NSW averaged 42 per year in the five years ended 2016-17 and remains a relatively minor supply source for this occupation.
Other indicators and issues
- Most metropolitan employers were concerned about the high rate of turnover, given they are now competing with centres paying above award wages, the poaching of several staff members to other centres, and the repeated use of early childhood teacher positions as temporary prerequisite placements for teaching infants at primary schools.
Labour Economics Office New South Wales
Department of Jobs and Small Business
 The methodology underpinning this research is outlined at Skill Shortage Research Methodology | Department of Jobs and Small Business - Document library, Australian Governmentand can be accessed by the QR code.
 Australian Government Department of Education and Training, Early Childhood and Child Care in Summary, various issues.
 NSW Planning and Environment, 2016 population and household projections.
Australian Government Budget 2016-17, Balancing the Budget,
 Australian Government Department of Education and Training, Jobs for Families Child Care Package, (created 2/12/2015, modified 10/04/2017).
 NSW Education Standards Authority website, Teacher accreditationHow accreditation worksYour accreditation.
Department of Education and Training, Higher Education Student Statistics Data Cube, 2016, domestic students. These figures include undergraduate and postgraduate courses and represent new supply to the occupation.
 Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, In March 2018 the 457 visa category was replaced by the by the Temporary Skill Shortage visa (details of which can be found at