Early childhood teachers will have their qualifications recognised by law as part of a new ACT early childhood education and care workforce strategy.
Workers in the early childhood sector will also have better access to training, mentoring and professional networks in an effort to improve retention amid high staff turnover and workforce shortages.
Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development Yvette Berry said The Valuing Educators, Values Children: Workforce Strategy reaffirmed the government's commitment to supporting, building and respecting the early childhood profession.
"Early childhood educators play an invaluable role in fostering the development and growth of our littlest learners," Ms Berry said.
Currently degree-qualified early childhood teachers who do not work in schools cannot be registered as teachers, but the strategy says this will be changed.
Under the new strategy, more staff will be supported to study a certificate III, diploma or degree qualification in early childhood education, both financially and through coaching and mentoring programs.
Ninety-one educators have been granted a scholarship under the existing early childhood degree scholarship program.
Educator professional standards will be developed to be used across the sector as part of career planning and to support mentoring.
The 2021 early childhood education and care national workforce census found the ACT's workforce was overwhelmingly young women, with a higher number of staff aged 20-24 compared to the national average.
Three quarters of staff had three years or less experience and one third had less than one years' experience. In 2021, nearly a third of the workforce were studying for a qualification while working.
The Children First Alliance co-chairs, Simon Bennett and Mandy Green, welcomed the workforce strategy.
"Investing in our early childhood educators has never been more important, as a strong qualified workforce is essential to delivering quality early childhood education and care," they said in a statement.
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