Early childhood teacher workforce study: Supply and demand in New South Wales

Year: 1994

Author: Cross, Toni G., Lewis, George F.

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

The Early Childhood Workforce Study aimed to quantify the extent of shortages of early childhood teachers in New South Wales, identify patterns in relation to different sectors of the industry and different geographical locations, profile the workforce participation of early childhood teachers in New South Wales, and recommend strategies for establishing a balance between projected supply and demand estimates.

The research estimated supply and demand for trained early childhood teachers in different types of services and in different geographical locations, based on a number of projections for the future expansion in centre-based places for children in the preschool age range. The core data of the study came from three surveys of centres, teachers and graduates, and was supplemented by a range of other data sources. Demand estimates took into account teachers employed above New South Wales regulation requirements, teacher turnover, anticipated expansion in community-based child-care services and work-based and commercial (for profit) services, and school sector employment. Supply estimates included the annual output of preservice early childhood graduates and rates of entry and re-entry to the preschool long-day- care workforce in New South Wales.

Demand and supply estimates were projected on the basis of a series of different assumptions about the expansion of children's services in New South Wales, which ranged from a status quo assumption to full implementation of recent Commonwealth child care strategies. Limitations on the estimates of demand and supply are discussed and recommendations for relating supply to demand are canvassed.