Time is running out for early childhood teachers in NSW to register with BOSTES in order to be accredited. Accreditation recognises the professional standing of early childhood teachers in NSW. This is an important and hard fought for step forward. At the moment it appears there are many, many early childhood teachers who have not yet registered and commenced the process.
By becoming accredited we are at last being recognised within the community for our value and the professional status of our work.
You must register before 18 July 2016. To register create a login at www.nswteachers.nsw.edu.au and follow the steps. If you don’t register you will not become accredited and you will not be able to work as an early childhood teacher unless you become a provisional or conditional teacher and demonstrate over a five year period that you meet the requirements for full accreditation at the level of proficient teacher – as will all new teachers after 1 October 2016.
Over the last few months several members of the IEU’s Early Childhood Sector Council have been part of a working party looking at the current standards and the evidence new teachers will need to demonstrate to prove proficiency. We have looked at how they reflect early childhood practices and settings and how this can be demonstrated in our sector. It has been a collaborative process and I think the final document will reflect early childhood practises and settings very well.
New preschool places
On 20 November 2015, the Minister for Early Childhood Education Leslie Williams announced funding of $8 million over four years to create up to 500 new preschool places through a Capital Works Grants program.
The Capital Works Grants program will provide grants funding for not for profit, community based preschool providers proposing to increase the number of 600 hour preschool places available in areas where there is a demonstrated shortage.
Funding will be provided for:
• building new preschool services
• expanding an existing centre based service
• purchasing a new motor vehicle for an existing mobile preschool service, and
• other capital works delivering innovative solutions to increase the number of preschool places in areas of high need.
Starting in mid 2016, the present Operational Support Program will be available to all community preschools. The mentoring support program assists preschools better understand and align with the Preschool Funding Model, enabling sustainability over the longer term.
Support focuses on integrating educational objectives with effective business practice and includes:
• maximising funding under the Preschool Funding Model and implementing a sustainable fee structure
• maximising target cohort enrolments
• demographic modelling to assist preschool planning
• developing staff capacity and efficient staffing arrangements, and
• strategies to increase the number of four and five year old children enrolled in quality preschool programs for 600 hours per year.
The three month support program will be available for preschools that have not previously participated in the program.
Preschools that have previously participated in the Operational Support Program will be able to access a two month follow up program.
To date 177 community preschool have participated or are participating in the program. It has been well received and feedback includes:
“The program is helping us focus on our ECE service as a business. It is improving our budgeting, financial management and business planning processes. This will clearly assist our long term viability.”
“Overall, the vision for us to remain viable is now clear and seems to be achievable with plans in place.”